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Journey from Rousseau to Sibelius: The development of nationalism through interaction of music and folklore from French Revolution to Finnish Independence

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The French Revolution was one of the most significant and influential events in world history and had an undeniable impact around the world, including Finland. I will argue that the French Revolution had a profound influence on Finland’s independence movement primarily through Herder’s principles of cultural nationalism focusing on the importance of common history, culture, and language. I will also argue that the interaction of music and folklore, particularly in the form of Kalevala, the Finnish national epic and the music of Sibelius, played an integral role in that movement. I will present an interdisciplinary study of the emergence and development of Nationalism based on Romantic ideals sparked by the French Revolution, and I will discuss the literary, musical and philosophical ideas of Jean-Jacques Rousseau, the influence of the Age of Enlightenment, Romanticism, and Nationalism that had migrated to Finland resulting in independence.
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