The aim of this book is to focus on the development of national consciousness elaborated around a series of different case studies, in which the terms nation, homeland and people have been applied. This Romantic lexicon identifies similar but various conceptions of the national idea in some countries dominated by Italian, German and Slavic cultures, and in some groups or minorities such as the Jews and the Vlachs in Central and Mediterranean Europe. In order to clarify the cultural framework, the authors explore the construction of identity through folk tunes, poetry inspired by popular culture, and opera in which the national myths or heroes appear. In the self-making tradition, the national traits are sustained by the process of embodiment of any regional utterance, and also by the elimination of the ‘other’, in particular the minorities. The symbols of the nation, as an achievement of the power that flourishes from the sense of belonging, are defined per differentiam.

Ivano Cavallini (editor) is associate professor of Musicology at the University of Palermo. He is a member of the international advisory board of the journals Recercare (Rome), Arti Musices (Zagreb), De Musica Disserenda (Ljubljana). His research is focused on the connection between Italian music and Slav cultures of central Europe; his other areas of study are music historiography and music criticism. He has recently published the books: Istarske glazbene teme i portreti od 16. do 19. stoljeća (Themes and Portraits of Music in Istria from the 16th to the 19th Centuries, Pula 2007) and Quattro diagnosi sul ‘Florario’ di Francesco Buti (Parma 2009).