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Germany in the Loud Twentieth CenturyAn Introduction$
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Florence Feiereisen and Alexandra Merley Hill

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199759392

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199759392.001.0001

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Sound and Socialist Identity

Sound and Socialist Identity

Negotiating the Musical Soundscape in the Stalinist GDR

Chapter 7 Sound and Socialist Identity
Germany in the Loud Twentieth Century

David Tompkins

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a fresh perspective on the musical world of Stalinist East Germany, and argues that the vibrant soundscape was marked by the hopes and desires of both composers and the audience as well as by directives from cultural officials. Beginning with a brief discussion of expectations for musical compositions under Socialist Realism, it explores the rich array of music festivals in the post-war period, from prominent events in Berlin to those organized in smaller towns and the countryside. Concluding with an examination of Estradenkonzerte, or stage revues, the chapter asserts that the soundscape of the GDR was a negotiated project that helped to create a new socialist identity.

Keywords:   East Germany, Socialist Realism, music, Estradenkonzert, music festivals, countryside, cultural officials, composers

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