Recent decades have seen extensive research into musical life under the two most notorious interwar dictatorships, Hitler's Germany and Stalin's Soviet Union. But the situation in the Italy of Mussolini has been little studied. This course will introduce students to the topic, by way of an exploration of the extensive and fascinating body of modernist compositions that provides continuity between the pre-World War I and post-World War II periods, in the history of both of which the place of Italian composers is, by contrast, well established. The course will principally be concerned with an examination of important works by the following figures: Ildebrando Pizzetti, Gian Francesco Malipiero, Alfredo Casella, Ottorino Respighi, Franco Alfano, Giorgio Federico Ghedini, Luigi Dallapiccola and Goffredo Petrassi. Genres to be studied will range from full-scale opera to concerto, choral music, chamber music and songs. Links will be drawn between the work of these composers and those that preceded and followed them: Verdi and Puccini on the one hand; Berio and Nono on the other. Comparisons will be made between the situation of Italian composers under fascism and the problems faced by such figures as Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Hindemith and Richard Strauss in the Soviet Union and Germany. And most importantly, the development of musical style in Italy during the period will be linked to major historical, political and social events and issues: the chaos following the First World War, Mussolini's 'March on Rome', 'totalitarian' attempts to 'fascisticize' the nation, the Ethiopian campaign, the alliance with Germany, the entry into World War II, the fall of Mussolini, partisan resistance, and so on.