Perspectives on German Popular Music  book cover
1st Edition

Perspectives on German Popular Music

ISBN 9781472479624
Published December 14, 2016 by Routledge
338 Pages

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USD $190.00

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Book Description

In this book, native popular musicologists focus on their own popular music cultures from Germany, Austria and Switzerland for the first time: from subcultural to mainstream phenomena; from the 1950s to contemporary acts. Starting with an introduction and two chapters on the histories of German popular music and its study, the volume then concentrates on focused, detailed and yet concise close readings from different perspectives (including particular historical East and West German perspectives), mostly focusing on the music and its protagonists. Moreover, these analyses deal with very original specific genres such as Schlager and Krautrock as well as transcultural genres such as Punk or Hip Hop. There are additional chapters on characteristically German developments within music media, journalism and the music industry. The book will contribute to a better understanding of German, Austrian and Swiss popular music, and will interconnect international and especially Anglo-American studies with German approaches. The book, as a consequence, will show close connections between global and local popular music cultures and diverse traditions of study.

Table of Contents

Part 1: Histories and Foundations

1. A Fragile Kaleidoscope: Institutions, Methodologies, and Outlooks on German Popular Music (Studies) Michael Ahlers and Christoph Jacke

2. Popular Music Studies in Germany: from the Origins to the 1990s Helmut Rösing

3. Looking East: Popular Music Studies between Theory and Practice Peter Wicke 

Part 2: Arts and Experiments

4. Kosmische Musik: On Krautrock’s Take Off Jens Gerrit Papenburg

5. Kraftwerk: The History and Aesthetics of a Pop-Cultural Concept Dirk Matejovski

6. Pophörspiel: Popular music in radio art Holger Schulze

Part 3: Mainstreams and Masses

7. Hit Men: Giorgio Moroder, Frank Farian and the Eurodisco-Sound of the 1970/80s Thomas Krettenauer

8. A Re-encounter with the Scorpions’ ‘Wind Of Change’: Why I couldn’t Stand it Then – What I Learn from Analysing it Now Ralf von Appen

9. Modern Talking, Musicology and I: Analysing and Interpreting Forbidden Fruit André Doehring

10. Rocking granny’s living room: The new voices of the German Schlager Julio Mendívil

Part 4: Niches and Subcultures

11. The Popularisation of Electronic Dance Music: German Artists/Producers and the Eurodance Phenomenon Nico Thom

12. Restless and Wild: Early West German Heavy Metal Dietmar Elflein

13. No Escape from Noise: Geräuschmusik Made in Germany Till Kniola

14. German Gothic: From Neue Deutsche Todeskunst to Neo-Victorian Steampunk Birgit Richard

15. ‘The Interesting Ones’: Hamburger Schule and the ‘Secondariness’ of German Pop Till Huber

16. Music, Line Dance and Country and Western-Themed Events: Insights into German Country Music Culture Stefanie Jäger and Nils Kirschlager

Part 5: Politics and Gender

17. Music of the Right-Wing Scene: Text Content, Distribution and Effects Georg Brunner

18. Rammstein Under Observation Susanne Binas-Preisendörfer and Arne Wachtmann

19. Rap Music in Germany Ayla Güler Saied

20. ‘Heulsusen-Pop’: New Male Sensitivity in German Independent Music Maren Volkmann

21. From ‘Frauenfest’ to ‘Bitchsm’: Feminist Strategies in German Language Popular Music from the 1970s until Today Sonja Eismann

Part 6: Germanness and Otherness

22. ‘White Punks On Dope’ in Germany: Nina Hagen’s Punk Covers Moritz Baßler

23. Singing in German: Pop Music and the Question of Language Diedrich Diederichsen

24. Neue Deutsche Welle/NDW: From Punk to Mainstream Barbara Hornberger

25. Integrated Music Media Analysis: An Application to Trio Christofer Jost

26. Punk in Germany Philipp Meinert and Martin Seeliger

27. Popular Music from Austria Rosa Reitsamer

28. From Soundtrack of the Reunification to the Celebration of Germanness: Paul van Dyk and Peter Heppner’s ‘Wir sind Wir’ as National Trance Anthem Melanie Schiller

Part 7: Electronic Sounds and Cities

29. Concepts of Cologne Hans Nieswandt

30. Who Said It’s Got to be ‘Clean’? Stereotypes, Presets and Discontent in German Electronic Sound Studios Johannes Ismaiel-Wendt

31. The Berlin Sound of Techno Daniel Mateo and Sandra Passaro

Part 8: Media and Industries

32. The History of the German Popular Music Industry in the Twentieth Century Klaus Nathaus

33. Pop on TV: The National and International Success of Radio Bremen’s Beat Club Detlef Siegfried

34. German Music Talent Shows Nick Ruth and Holger Schramm .



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Michael Ahlers has studied music education, German, and musicology. He worked as an editor and ran a company for music production. His PhD was on human-machine interfaces in music production software. He is Professor of Music Education and Popular Music at the Leuphana University of Lüneburg, Germany. His main research is on empirical music pedagogy, creativity and improvisation, as well as popular music studies.

Christoph Jacke has studied communication and media, politics, and English. He has worked as a music journalist. He is Professor of Theory, Aesthetics and History of Popular Music, and Director of the BA and MA programme in Popular Music and Media at the Department of Music at the University of Paderborn, Germany. His research focus is on media, culture and communications theory, cultural studies, celebrity studies and popular music studies.


"You can find numerous good, and some excellent, articles within Perspectives on German Popular Music which, even in their brevity, are important to further the academic discourse surrounding popular music in German in its entirety."

- Timor Kaul, Pop-Zeitschrift

"This edited collection offers interesting kaleidoscopic reflections on German popular music cultures, through musicological, sociological, and media studies perspectives. (...) It is a welcomed introduction to a large linguistic and cultural musicscape, for too long neglected and which international scholars should start embracing."

- Giacomo Bottà, University of Helsinki, Finland

"The book offers fascinating studies of artists and genres that have been marginalized in popular music studies, including West German heavy metal, Frank Farian, Helene Fischer, Modern Talking, and the Hamburger Schule, to name only a few. It stands as an important contribution to the study of popular music from German-speaking countries, the historiography of popular music studies in these countries, and the continuing project of legitimizing this discipline in the academy."

-Mario Dunkel, l'Université Carl von Ossietzky Oldenburg, Germany

"The book provides an excellent,‘bird’s eye’ view of popular music studies and pop-rock music in the German-speaking countries. It amounts to a recommended read for anyone interested in the study of pop-rock music in its globalized context, beyond the Anglo-American core."

-Motti Regev, The Open University of Israel, Israel