Narrating Popular Music History of the GDR: A Critical Reflection of Approaches, Sources and Methods

Editors: Beate Peter (Manchester Metropolitan University, UK) and Michael Rauhut (University of Agder, Norway)

Submissions are invited for a special edition of Popular Music History that aims to assess the sources, approaches and methods with which East German popular music is written.

Background

Histories of German popular music generally focus on examples of West German music which were commercially successful and/or are considered to be aesthetically and musically ground-breaking. Bands such as Kraftwerk, Can, Neu! or the Scorpions are the subject of many academic as well as non-academic publications, and they are considered as canonical as genres such as Krautrock or Neue Deutsche Welle. East German musicians or movements, on the other hand, tend to be overlooked, as do specific artistic forms of expression which were developed in response to authoritarian leadership in the socialist German Democratic Republic (GDR). The examination of a relationship between the GDR and the arts is almost altogether absent from a pan-German popular music history.

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