The Twisted Muse: Musicians and Their Music in the Third Reich

Paperback | May 26, 1999

byMichael H. Kater

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Is music removed from politics? To what ends, beneficent or malevolent, can music and musicians be put? In short, when human rights are grossly abused and politics turned to fascist demagoguery, can art and artists be innocent? These questions and their implications are explored in Michael Kater's broad survey of musicians and the music they composed and performed during the Third Reich. Great and small--from Valentin Grimm, a struggling clarinetist, to Richard Strauss, renowned composer--are examined by Kater, sometimesin intimate detail, and the lives and decisions of Nazi Germany's professional musicians are laid out before the reader. Kater tackles the issue of whether the Nazi regime, because it held music in crassly utilitarian regard, acted on musicians in such a way as to consolidate or atomize the profession. Kater's examination of the value of music for the regime and the degree to which the regime attained a positivepropaganda and palliative effect through the manner in which it manipulated its musicians, and by extension, German music, is of importance for understanding culture in totalitarian systems. This work, with its emphasis on the social and political nature of music and the political attitude of musicians during the Nazi regime, will be the first of its kind. It will be of interest to scholars and general readers eager to understand Nazi Germany, to music lovers, and to anyone interestedin the interchange of music and politics, culture and ideology.

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From Our Editors

Music is political, as this engrossing history shows. . Michael Kater examines the music composed and performed during the Nazi regime and shows why music was valuable to the Third Reich, as propaganda and as a method of manipulating the musicians who created it. The Twisted Muse: Musicians and Their Music in the Third Reich take a pen...

From the Publisher

Is music removed from politics? To what ends, beneficent or malevolent, can music and musicians be put? In short, when human rights are grossly abused and politics turned to fascist demagoguery, can art and artists be innocent? These questions and their implications are explored in Michael Kater's broad survey of musicians and the mus...

Michael H. Kater is Distinguished Research Professor of History at the Canadian Centre for German and European Studies at York University, Toronto, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He is also the author of Different Drummers: Jazz in the Culture of Nazi Germany (OUP, 1992).

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:344 pages, 9.02 × 6.1 × 1.18 inPublished:May 26, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0195132424

ISBN - 13:9780195132427

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Table of Contents

1. National Socialism, The Third Reich, and the Music Scene2. Musical Professionalism and Political Compromise3. Persecuted and Exiled Jewish and Anti-Nazi Musicians4. Music in the Institutions5. Dissonance and Deviance

From Our Editors

Music is political, as this engrossing history shows. . Michael Kater examines the music composed and performed during the Nazi regime and shows why music was valuable to the Third Reich, as propaganda and as a method of manipulating the musicians who created it. The Twisted Muse: Musicians and Their Music in the Third Reich take a penetrating look at how the Nazis twisted music to their own ends.

Editorial Reviews

"The most authoritative account to date of music and musicians in the Third Reich."--American Historical Review