Ten. Populism, Progressivism, and Politics
Schuman's music in the late 1930s and early 1940s was unabashedly populist in its orientation. Part of this came from his close association with his Sarah Lawrence colleague Genevieve Taggard, who provided the texts for a number of the works he composed during this period. His decision to write a good deal of choral music for amateur singers also sprung from his populist impulses, and even his Newsreel in Five Shots borrows its imagery from the public movie house. While Schuman later denied he had any direct involvement with socialist or communist causes, his activities at this time show him to be something of a political chameleon, as he worked alongside those well left of him while he sought foundation and government backing for his ideas of musical propaganda.
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