Music reviews in the German-speaking popular press,
1880–1940: Berlin and Vienna 

Currently in Preparation

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<![endif] StartFragmentMusic reviews in the German-speaking popular press, 1880–1940: Berlin and Vienna EndFragment Currently in Preparation

With the formation of bourgeois music culture in the 18th century, music criticism developed into a projection space for convictions and points of view. In its dual role as both aesthetic evaluation claiming objectivity and communication to society, it was not only meant to express the ideas of the reviewer but also to shape public opinion. At the turn of the 20th century, music criticism became an integral part of the cultural discourse of the era which was characterised by enormous dynamics and acceleration. In response to the rapid social and economic upheavals moods, feelings, ideas, and ideologies came up which, consciously or unconsciously, penetrated the aesthetic evaluation and were transported into the public arena where they unfolded their potentials. In particular music reviews in the popular press are not only testimony to how a society deals with music, but developed thought-patterns of social relevance.

 

Central to the project is the establishment of a database and a first analysis of the material ("sondage") employing rather narrow, focused questions. The database will serve as a basis for follow-up projects in order to evaluate the collected material from different angles.

 

The beginnings of music criticism in the 18th century and its development up to the 19th century has been relatively well researched. The same applies to music criticism during the Nazi period. The period from the turn of the 20th century to the Third Reich with its two centres relevant to music, Berlin and Vienna, however, has not yet been adequately explored. Nevertheless, this time is of particular interest because of its rapid acceleration and upheavals (social and economic changes, media revolution, technique history, etc.) in Europe, accompanied by a plethora of discourses reflecting them. Furthermore, little research has been done on music critique in the popular press; the major part of previous studies deals with music reviews in specialist journals. However, it is precisely the popular press that is suitable to reconstruct social and political contexts. A systematic gathering of music reviews over a period of sixty years including the end of the 19th century as well as the beginning of the Third Reich would allow to investigate the changing discourses in which music is endowed with social meaning. Several questions arise in this context, e.g.:

  • What was performed, how was it assessed, and which metaphors were employed to describe it?
  • Which functions were ascribed to music?
  • Which were the intentions and the factual effects of music reviews?
  • Which aesthetic positions can be determined?
  • What were the extra-musical motives critics were guided by? (economic interests of the critics and their clients [journalistic context]; giving expression to the critics’ own anxieties and expectations, their awareness of a rapidly changing society; pushing aesthetic positions …).
  • What is the place of music critique in the individual biography of the critic (e.g. many critics were Jews – criticism as a tool for integration?)?

Participating institutions

  • Hochschule für Musik und Theater »Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy« Leipzig (Wolfgang Gersthofer, Christoph Hust)
  • Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance (Doron Mendels, Yinam Leef, Bella Brover-Lubovsky, NN)

Individual participants

Zentrum für Musikwissenschaft

Zum WS 2016/17 haben die Universität Leipzig und die HMT ein gemeinsames Zentrum für Musikwissenschaft gegründet.

Die Institute für Musikwissenschaft beider Häuser arbeiten in diesem Zentrum zusammen.

Kontakt & mehr

Noch Fragen? Dann kontaktieren Sie die Mitarbeiterinnen und Mitarbeiter per Mail:

musikwissenschaft@hmt-leipzig.de