The Concept of 'Radio Music'

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftTidsskriftartikelForskningfagfællebedømt


In the late 1920s, young composers and musicians turned towards new fields of activity and new media in order to reach a larger audience. In Germany, this effort was part of the movement of Neue Sachlichkeit, and for a short period of time, Radiomusik was considered the ideal means for a democratic, educational and didactic effort which would enlighten all of society. For a while it seemed that radio music was considered a genre of its own. To fulfil its function, radio music had to consider technical limitations as well as the educational level and listening modes of the new mass audience. Public radio, as discussed by Kurt Weill and Paul Hindemith, was at first greeted with great expectations, but soon a more realistic attitude prevailed. Weill, himself a radio critic as well, composed Der Lindberghflug (1929) as a piece of ‘radio music theatre’, but then changed some of its features in order to turn it into a didactical play for amateurs, a so-called Lehrstück. The article will present the concept of ‘radio music’ developed within German Neue Sachlichkeit and discuss the relevance of such a concept for current research in the field of radio and music.
TidsskriftDanish Yearbook of Musicology
Sider (fra-til)69-78
StatusUdgivet - 2016


  • Det Humanistiske Fakultet - Music History, Radio music, 1920erne, 1930erne, 1920s, 1930s, Neue Sachlichkeit

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