Dr. Melanie Schiller

Soundtracking Germany - 70 years of imagining the nation from Schlager to Techno

Germany

Dr. Melanie Schiller | Soundtracking Germany - 70 years of imagining the nation from Schlager to Techno

In the mid-70s, Kraftwerk asked, “What is the sound of the German Bundesrepublik?” and answered with their international über-hit Autobahn. In the 80s, Deutsch Amerikanische Freundschaft [DAF] caused a national scandal by ordering the dance-obsessed New German Wave youth to “shake your ass and do the Adolf Hitler!” 20 years later trance superstar DJ Paul van Dyk and Synth Pop singer Peter Heppner celebrated German pride in their anthem “Wir sind Wir”, and today—70 years after the end of WWII and 25 years after the German reunification—resident Teutons Rammstein successfully promote sales by having confidently entitled their greatest hits collection Made in Germany. Clearly, the nation has been a central theme in the history of German pop music. But popular music – as commodity and social practice – also plays an important role in the imagination of the nation. By tracking different stories about the nation throughout 70 years of German pop and across diverse genres like Schlager, Beat, Krautrock, Neue Deutsche Welle, Techno and Heavy Metal, this lecture will show how national identity and pop music hang together.

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In collaboration with | Rijksuniversiteit Groningen

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