Primary Source

Wagner's Ride of the Valkyrie

  • Richard Wagner's "The Ride of the Valkyries"

Annotation

Although it is important to take into account an artist's intentions and hopes for new music, it is equally important to realize that music is often appropriated - meaning that it is used by others in ways that the artist did not intend. Take for example Richard Wagner's famous musical drama The Valkyrie. Although originally written and performed in the nineteenth century as an entertaining thriller of Norse mythology, it would be taken up in the twentieth century by the Nazi Party in Germany as a means of promoting German nationalism. As Marion Jacobson puts in in the Music Methods page, "Music does not just act as a mirror of the culture that created it; it 'performs' that culture."

Richard Wagner, "The Valkyrie," c. 19th century.

Credits

"The Ride of the Valkyries," Musescore,
https://musescore.com/hmscomp/scores/944826

How to Cite This Source
Wagner's Ride of the Valkyrie in World History Commons,