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From ‘ Musiktheorie ’ to ‘ Tonsatz ’: National Socialism and German Music Theory after 1945

From ‘ Musiktheorie ’ to ‘ Tonsatz ’: National Socialism and German Music Theory after 1945 I I wish to turn to the darkest chapter in the history of German Music Theory. I write of a time that has shaped the discipline in Germany, and continues to shape it even to the present day. I am not going to make sensational revelations; rather, I wish to trace the scars that National Socialism has left on the content and structures of our discipline. The clearest indication of the influence exerted by the National Socialist period is in a change in terminology: after 1945 the new term Tonsatz appeared alongside the older term Musiktheorie. Of course the term Tonsatz was not invented by the Nazis, but it is in this period that it finally achieved the status of a specialist term. By the end of the 1950s it had fully replaced the term Musiktheorie at many German universities and conservatoires. Although it sounds rather archaic, Tonsatz is a modern term. But its inherent phonemic relation to the musical terminology of the German Baroque period contributed not inconsiderably towards its astonishing rise. The term originated at the beginning of the nineteenth century but led a rather uncertain existence. From 1900 onwards it appears more and more frequently, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Music Analysis Wiley

From ‘ Musiktheorie ’ to ‘ Tonsatz ’: National Socialism and German Music Theory after 1945

Music Analysis , Volume 23 (2‐3) – Jul 1, 2004

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 2004 Wiley Subscription Services, Inc., A Wiley Company
ISSN
0262-5245
eISSN
1468-2249
DOI
10.1111/j.0262-5245.2004.00203.x
Publisher site
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Abstract

I I wish to turn to the darkest chapter in the history of German Music Theory. I write of a time that has shaped the discipline in Germany, and continues to shape it even to the present day. I am not going to make sensational revelations; rather, I wish to trace the scars that National Socialism has left on the content and structures of our discipline. The clearest indication of the influence exerted by the National Socialist period is in a change in terminology: after 1945 the new term Tonsatz appeared alongside the older term Musiktheorie. Of course the term Tonsatz was not invented by the Nazis, but it is in this period that it finally achieved the status of a specialist term. By the end of the 1950s it had fully replaced the term Musiktheorie at many German universities and conservatoires. Although it sounds rather archaic, Tonsatz is a modern term. But its inherent phonemic relation to the musical terminology of the German Baroque period contributed not inconsiderably towards its astonishing rise. The term originated at the beginning of the nineteenth century but led a rather uncertain existence. From 1900 onwards it appears more and more frequently,

Journal

Music AnalysisWiley

Published: Jul 1, 2004

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