Hebert, David G., and Alexandra Kertz-Welzel, Eds. Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education

By Sholty, April Stephens | Journal of Historical Research in Music Education, April 2015 | Go to article overview

Hebert, David G., and Alexandra Kertz-Welzel, Eds. Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education


Sholty, April Stephens, Journal of Historical Research in Music Education


Hebert, David G., and Alexandra Kertz-Welzel, eds. Patriotism and Nationalism in Music Education. Farnham, UK: Ashgate, 2012. xviii + 183 pp. Hardcover, index. ISBN 978-1-4094-3080-3, 54 [pounds sterling].

Throughout history, patriotism and nationalism have influenced the music education curriculum. Patriotic music has been used as a tool to educate students on the history, culture, and values of a nation. Editors Hebert and Kertz-Welzel state that the purpose of this volume is to "examine the impact of patriotism and nationalism on the music education curriculum internationally" (1). The book includes a foreword by Simon Keller, an introduction, and chapters by eleven authors--David G. Hebert, Alexandra Kertz-Welzel, Jane Southcott, Wai-Chung Ho, Carlos R. Abril, Ambigay Raidoo Yudkoff, Eugene Dairianathan, Chee-Hoo Lum, Amy C. Beegle, Kari K. Veblen, and Marja Heimonen--with each examining a different aspect of patriotism and nationalism in music education.

In the first chapter, "Patriotism and Music Education: An International Overview," Hebert outlines "contemporary practices and positions regarding the use of patriotic content in music education" (7). The author begins by questioning the purpose of patriotism in music education. Examples of its use from the United States and Japan imply that its presence in the classroom is not to teach musical skills but rather to instill governmental pride and loyalty. Hebert then compares the national anthems of several countries-- including the United States, Japan, Russia, and New Zealand--and discusses each one's role in music education. Hebert concludes, "While few, if any, would question the legitimacy of teaching national anthems and other ceremonial repertoire, there appears to be very little philosophical support from within the profession for an increased emphasis on patriotism in school music programs" (18).

In chapter 2, "Lesson Learned? In Search of Patriotism and Nationalism in the German Music Education Curriculum," Kertz-Welzel provides a brief history of the development of Germany's national identity, the Third Reich's role in the growth of formal music education, and a discussion regarding Germany's national anthem, Deutschlandlied. She contends that in Germany patriotism and nationalism do not play an important role in music education most likely owing to the importance Hitler placed on music education and nationalism. After World War II, Germans were filled with shame and regret rather than nationalistic pride because they had not resisted the National Socialist ideology. Today the purpose of teaching students about the German national anthem is not to instill a sense of patriotism but rather to inform students "about the history, the musical form of the original work ... and the lyrics of the anthem" (35). Kertz-Welzel successfully outlines the role of patriotism in German music education and reveals the potential negative effects that can occur when patriotic music is taught solely for political gain.

Southcott begins chapter 3, "Nationalism and School Music in Australia," with the following statement: "Nationalism is a pervasive and often unstated force in shaping educational systems. Schools exist within societies and it is part of the function of a school to prepare future citizens" (43). From the selection of song repertoire--both British and Australian music--to the celebration of ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day, Australians have deliberately promoted nationalism in their school systems. Throughout the chapter, Southcott traces the selection of Australia's national anthem and discusses ways in which nationalism is promoted within the school setting.

In chapter 4, "National Identity in the Taiwanese System of Music Education," Ho examines "the current debate between the discourses of nationalism and associated social change that determine the cultural diversity of Taiwanese music education today" (59). …

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