Show Summary Details

Page of
PRINTED FROM Oxford Music Online. © Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single article in Oxford Music Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy).


  • John Rosselli


Censorship is not readily practised on music, because music does not as a rule convey a precise statement such as persons in authority might wish to tone down or ban. Censorship has in the main affected forms that ally music to words, in particular music theatre (opera, ballad opera, musical comedy) and music with openly political associations (marches set to revolutionary or nationalistic texts, or cabaret songs). Such forms appeal directly to a large public gathering – a possible fount of subversion or violence. In dealing with them, censorship has by and large concentrated on the words; the music of some well-known marches, however, has been so bound up with the sentiments expressed by the words as to be unplayable, even on its own, after a political reversal, e.g. the ...

You do not currently have access to this article


Please login to access the full content.


Please subscribe to access the full content.

The New Grove Dictionary of Opera
Papers of the American Musicological Society