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Arti musices : Croatian Musicological Review, Vol. 40 No. 1-2, 2009

Original scientific paper

The Nationalistic Context of Josip Andreis’s Imaginary Museum of Croatian Music

Zdravko Blažeković   ORCID icon ; The Graduate Center, City University of New York, New York, USA

Fulltext: croatian, pdf (108 KB) pages 67-88 downloads: 403* cite
APA 6th Edition
Blažeković, Z. (2009). Andreisove nacionalne odrednice pri kreiranju imaginarnog muzeja hrvatske glazbe. Arti musices, 40 (1-2), 67-88. Retrieved from
MLA 8th Edition
Blažeković, Zdravko. "Andreisove nacionalne odrednice pri kreiranju imaginarnog muzeja hrvatske glazbe." Arti musices, vol. 40, no. 1-2, 2009, pp. 67-88. Accessed 26 Apr. 2019.
Chicago 17th Edition
Blažeković, Zdravko. "Andreisove nacionalne odrednice pri kreiranju imaginarnog muzeja hrvatske glazbe." Arti musices 40, no. 1-2 (2009): 67-88.
Blažeković, Z. (2009). 'Andreisove nacionalne odrednice pri kreiranju imaginarnog muzeja hrvatske glazbe', Arti musices, 40(1-2), pp. 67-88. Available at: (Accessed 26 April 2019)
Blažeković Z. Andreisove nacionalne odrednice pri kreiranju imaginarnog muzeja hrvatske glazbe. Arti musices [Internet]. 2009 [cited 2019 April 26];40(1-2):67-88. Available from:
Z. Blažeković, "Andreisove nacionalne odrednice pri kreiranju imaginarnog muzeja hrvatske glazbe", Arti musices, vol.40, no. 1-2, pp. 67-88, 2009. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 26 April 2019]

In his history of Croatian music - which became with its three Croatian editions (Razvoj muzičke umjetnosti u Hrvatskoj 1962; Povijest hrvatske glazbe 1974, 1989) and two English editions (Music in Croatia 1974, 1982) the canonic work in Croatian music scholarship - Josip Andreis (1909-1982) mainly synthesized existing views about Croatian music, superbly transforming them into his own narrative. However, he was not able sufficiently to distance himself from earlier literature and did not even attempt to reinterpret the chronology of musical styles. His historical narrative with only small adjustments follows the canon established in the late 19th century by Franjo Ksaver Kuhač, for whom it was more important to present the national origin of musicians than to demonstrate their mutual influences within the circle in which they were active. Andreis’s history is constructed as a museum of Croatian and foreign composers active in Croatia, as well as Croatian musicians abroad, among whom some had not been connected to Croatia with their activities in any significant way. Besides nationalistic traits inherited from Kuhač, an additional reason for emphasizing activities of composers working abroad were the circumstances surrounding Andreis during the time of communist Yugoslavia, when Croatian connections with the Central European musical space were particularly appreciated, especially when the quality of composers living abroad surpassed the musical production within the country. Being part of multinational Yugoslavia, which was divided between Eastern and Western cultural and religious spheres, Croatians at the time felt the need to be reassured about their belonging to Slavia Latina and these composers provided such a link.
Andreis constructed his historical narrative in a straight and one-directional line connecting Renaissance and Baroque composers of the Croatian urban centers along the coast with the 19th-century efforts in northern Croatia. Influenced by the notion formed by Kuhač that Vatroslav Lisinski was the founder and the most important composer in northern Croatia of the first half of the 19th century, he presented all other composers active until the mid-century as his followers, and as belonging to the group of composers of the Croatian National Movement. However, composers active and even finishing their careers before Lisinski started composing were also included among them. This created an apparent misconception that significant music life started in northern Croatia only in the 1830s, although in urban centers such as Zagreb, Varaždin, Đakovo, and even among the Croatian people of Subotica (Vojvodina), the presence of the Classical style from the end of the 18th century can be recognized.
Nineteenth-century music life in the coastal parts of Croatia received only marginal attention and superficial evaluation in Andreis’s narrative. Dalmatia and Istria were multilingual and multicultural regions in the 19th century, and their music life was blending the Croatian and Italian characteristics. When Andreis was writing his historical overview, the international borders between Italy and Yugoslavia/Croatia were not fully settled as a consequence of the Italian administration governance over parts of Dalmatia and Istria between the two world wars. Their status was fully resolved only with the Osimo bilateral treaties between Italy and Yugoslavia, signed in 1975. Writing about 19th-century music in these regions in any significant way, the author would have to recognize stylistic and cultural connections with Italy and, with that, potentially give supporting arguments to the Italian irredentist claims on Dalmatia and Istria. An additional factor for neglecting Italian composers was that Andreis was a true proponent of the Croatian national style in music and considered that only music by Croatian composers belonged to the canon of Croatian music history after the beginning of the 19th century. In a similar way he avoided a presentation of the activities of Serbian composers in Croatia in order to distance Croatian music from the cultural trends in the eastern parts of Yugoslavia. Under the circumstances of the communist administration in Croatia, he also stopped short of discussing the music and activities of Roman and Greek Catholic composers and musicians.

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