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Wagner's Ride of the Valkyrie

Richard Wagner's "The Ride of the Valkyries"


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."

This source is a part of the Analyzing Music methods module.


"The Ride of the Valkyries," Musescore,

How to Cite This Source

"Wagner's Ride of the Valkyrie ," in World History Commons, [accessed January 26, 2023]