Music and German National Identity

Front Cover
Celia Applegate, Pamela Potter
University of Chicago Press, 2002 - Music - 319 pages
Is it merely a coincidence that the three "Bs" of classical music—Bach, Beethoven, Brahms—are all German composers? Why do concert halls all over the world feature mostly the works of German and Austrian composers as their standard repertoire? Over the past three centuries, supporters of German music ranging from music scholars to politicians have nurtured the notion that the German-speaking world possesses a peculiar strength in the cultivation of music.

This book explores the questions of how music came to be associated with German identity, when and how Germans came to be regarded as the "people of music," and how music came to be designated as "the most German art." Drawing on the expertise of leading scholars in German history, musicology, and German literature, the essays assembled here examine philosophy, literature, politics, and social currents, as well as the creation and performance of folk music, art music, church music, jazz, and pop to explore the ways in which music has continued to play a central role in the German national imagination and in shaping German identity.

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Genealogy of an Identity
Reconstructing Ideal Types of the German in Music
Intimations of Utopia in Robert Schumanns Late Choral Music
Wagners Die Meistersinger as National Opera 18681945
German Folk Song in the Nexus of National Identity
The Spielschar Ekkehard and the Struggle to Define German National Identity in the Weimar Republic
National Identity the German Christian Movement and the Dejudaization of Sacred Music in the Third Reich
Thomas Mann and the Paradox of German Music
Darmstadt Postwar Experimentation and the West German Search for a New Musical Identity
American Jazz in the German Cold War
Americanization the Cold War and the PostNazi Heimat
On the History of the Deutschlandlied
A Group of Vignettes
Is That Not Something for Simplicissimus? The Belief in Musical Superiority
List of Contributors

Culture Society and Politics in the Cosmos of Hans Pfitzner the German
Opera in the Discourses of Unification and Legitimation in the German Democratic Republic

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About the author (2002)

Celia Applegate is an associate professor of history at the University of Rochester. She is the author of A Nation of Provincials: The German Idea of Heimat.

Pamela Potter is an associate professor in the musicology and German departments at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. She is the author of Most German of the Arts: Musicology and Society from the Weimar Republic to the End of Hitler's Reich.

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