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Education: Rotterdam Conservatory, Cambridge University // Activities: composition, writing

Monday 18 September 2023

The War on Music

"Otto Dix and Emil Nolde were allowed to paint figuratively, while Thomas Mann and Döblin wrote novels with coherent narratives. Their revival after the Nazi embargos was warmly appreciated. But music? Suddenly, the only music that counted was whatever cultural arbiters extrapolated as being music Hitler would not have liked. Why it was important to promote music people assumed Hitler would have hated as opposed to reviving the music he banned resulted in myriad complex, socio-philosophical excuses. Post-war German musicologists educated by Theodor Adorno and Carl Dahlhaus decided that music was a key foundation needed in creating a new and better society. Music that spoke to deeper human emotions inevitably spoke to their worst human characteristics. A new musical language was required to speak to a better humanity. A new society could only come about with new cultural foundations. The foundations of the past had created brutal, rotten, degenerate, hate-filled societies. Emotionally indulgent art had only facilitated cultural decline into primitivism."

Fascinating review of  John Mauceri's book 'The War on Music', by the Viennese Exilarte Centre researcher Dr Michael Haas:



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