I came across much in A History of Bel Canto about the outpouring of optimism and creativity that led to bel canto and the Baroque period, following the defeat of the Turkish at Lepanto in 1571. I wonder whether this is a general phenomenon at the end of a war, especially between different religious groups? I wrote a report in 1975 on the likely impact of the end of the Vietnam war, and what happened after the end of the Second World War, which had a similar theme.

Art Cooper mentions:

G.K. Chesterton’s poem about this battle is one of my favorites. I also believe that the optimism and creativity of the roaring 20’s is further to this effect.

Stefan Jovanovich comments:

The explosion of brass band music after the Civil War might also fit the paradigm. It brought us both John Philip Sousa and Dixieland. In one of his recorded interviews Louis Armstrong talks about how the war surplus (every regiment in the Civil War had had a full band) made brass instruments cheap enough that even the poor blacks in New Orleans could afford them.

In 1867 Sousa’s father, who played trombone in the Marine band, enlisted John Philip in the Marines at age 13. It was, in John Antonio’s opinion, the necessary parental cure for his son’s having tried to run away from home to join a traveling circus band.





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