Seibt, Oliver, Martin Ringsmut, and David-Emil Wickström, eds. 2020. Made in Germany – Studies in Popular Music. Routledge Global Popular Music Series. New York, Oxon: Routledge. ISBN: 9780815391784.
Made in Germany: Studies in Popular Music serves as a comprehensive introduction to the history, sociology, and musicology of contemporary German popular music. Each essay, written by a leading scholar of German music, covers the major figures, styles, and social contexts of popular music in Germany and provides adequate context so readers understand why the figure or genre under discussion is of lasting significance. The book first presents a general description of the history and background of popular music in Germany, followed by essays organized into the following thematic sections:
Histories of German popular music generally focus on examples of West German music which were commercially successful and/or are considered to be aesthetically and musically ground-breaking. Bands such as Kraftwerk, Can, Neu! or the Scorpions are the subject of many academic as well as non-academic publications, and they are considered as canonical as genres such as Krautrock or Neue Deutsche Welle. East German musicians or movements, on the other hand, tend to be overlooked, as do specific artistic forms of expression which were developed in response to authoritarian leadership in the socialist German Democratic Republic (GDR). The examination of a relationship between the GDR and the arts is almost altogether absent from a pan-German popular music history. Continue reading →
Scheppernde Sounds, lautes Benehmen und schrille Mode: Das Vokabular, mit dem Zeitgenossen Mitte des 20. Jahrhunderts eine neue Jugendszene beschrieben, markiert einen Kulturbruch. Ästhetische Konflikte kulminierten in Straßenkrawallen, Polizeimaßnahmen und Zensurgesetzen. Zugleich etablierten Tourneen, Piratensender und Fanclubs grenzüberschreitend neue Inhalte. Bodo Mrozek analysiert einen Wandel, der sich in den 1950er und 1960er Jahren vollzog und die Gesellschaft prägte: Was zunächst als Jugenddelinquenz bekämpft wurde, galt zehn Jahre später als Inbegriff urbaner Kultur. Dokumente aus sechs Staaten bilden das Material dieser transnationalen Geschichte der Popkultur.
Inhaltsverzeichnis und Leseprobe hier zum Download. Buchpremiere am 4.6.2019 im Roten Salon der Volksbühne am Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz, Berlin-Mitte.
Jeffrey H. Jackson and Stanley C. Pelkey open their collection, Music and History (subtitle ‘Bridging the Disciplines’, 2005) by asking: ‘Why haven’t historians and musicologists been talking to one another?’ They suggest that at the heart of this absence is a problem of communication, concerning the distinct methods, knowledge and skills employed in both disciplines: does one need to be able to read, play or even ‘appreciate’ music for instance in order to make sense of it historically? On the other hand, do musicologists need an understanding of historiography to write histories of music? The issue for scholars in both disciplines is the status of the musical object: how to account for music as music, without losing a sense of its historical specificity. Continue reading →
In 1989, a survey of French cultural taste revealed that Serge Gainsbourg was both one of the most popular singers and yet a near outcast in his native country. When he died, two years later, President Mitterrand called him “our Baudelaire, our Apollinaire”, claiming he had “elevated chanson to the level of art”. But he might just as well have acknowledged Gainsbourg as the first artist to top the British charts with a single in a foreign language. With the hindsight of almost thirty years, one thing is, in any case, certain: sampled by Beck, De La Soul, Massive Attack and Fatboy Slim, remixed by Howie B. and David Holmes, translated by Mick Harvey and covered by Iggy Pop, Donna Summer, Portishead, Madeleine Peyroux, the Pet Shop Boys and Franz Ferdinand, “the man with the cabbage head” remains the Francophone songwriter whose contribution to the international appeal of French popular music has been the most significant in the post-war era. Continue reading →