More generally, how can a piece of music be made to sound, for want of a better word, foreign?
I was listening to some of Chopin's mazurkas and the one that struck me the most was Mazurka No. 34 in C Major, Op. 56, No. 2, simply through its opening chords, it sounded... Polish. As a Pole myself, this is something I could recognise but can’t understand, and it made me wonder how it can be written so. Probably the most famous example of this would be Liszt's Hungarian Rhapsodies, and I’m sure most have never been there, yet would agree it somehow sounds eastern.
This then leads me to wonder how is it that nationality and heritage affect music? How could Chopin have gone about writing a mazurka? Given the piano as a starting point, which ultimately is a series of set pitches, I’d like to understand how arrangements of these pitches can be so different in the environment they invoke, namely how a piece can sound ‘foreign’ or even how does culturally different music evolve in the first place?
I think Mazurka No. 44 In G Major, Op. 67 No.1 and Mazurka No. 23 in D major, Op. 33 No. 2 are the most notable, but I don’t know how they could be analysed, if that would help.