The Necessity of Music: Variations on a German Theme
Published: April 2017© 2017
416 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 x 1.00 in, 19 b&w illustrations
In The Necessity of Music, Celia Applegate explores the many ways that Germans thought about and made music from the eighteenth- to twentieth-centuries. Rather than focus on familiar stories of composers and their work Applegate illuminates the myriad ways in which music is integral to German social life. Musical life reflected the polycentric nature of German social and political life, even while it provided many opportunities to experience what was common among Germans. Musical activities also allowed Germans, whether professional musicians, dedicated amateurs, or simply listeners, to participate in European culture. Applegate’s original and fascinating analysis of Mendelssohn, Schumann, Brahms, Wagner, and military music enables the reader to understand music through the experiences of listeners, performers, and institutions. The Necessity of Music demonstrates that playing, experiencing, and interpreting music was a powerful factor that shaped German collective life.
List of Illustrations
PART I: PLACES
Chapter 1 How German Is It?
Chapter 2 Music in Place
Chapter 3 Musical Itinerancy in a World of Nations
Chapter 4 Music at the Fairs
PART II: PEOPLE
Chapter 5 Mendelssohn on the Road
Chapter 6 The Internationalism of Nationalism in the Writings of A. B. Marx.
Chapter 7 Schumann’s German Nation
Chapter 8 The Musical Worlds of Brahms’ Hamburg.
PART III: PUBLIC AND PRIVATE
Chapter 9 What Difference does a Nation Make?
Chapter 10 Men with Trombones
Chapter 11 Women’s Wagner
Chapter 12 The Past and Present of Hausmusik in the Third Reich
Chapter 13 To be or not to be Wagnerian in Riefenstahl’s Films
Chapter 14 Saving Music
"[Applegate] combines the interpretive tools of both historian and musicologist – methodologically, she writes as both, and the readership of this book should encompass both - and she forges an interpretive approach that draws the familiar and the unexpected together."Philip V. Bohlman, University of Chicago, American Historical Review, Feb 2019
"Focused on the rich contexts of music, rather than on the musical texts themselves (that is, the scores), these essays are essential for scholars interested in the cultural history of music and German national identity across the past three centuries."Tegan Niziol, University of Toronto, University of Toronto Quarterly: Letters in Canada 2018
"Professor Applegate’s insights into music, society and politics of the last three centuries in Germany are unique. She has an extremely fine sense of how all three interacted with one another. This book will be a valuable aid especially for students of social and cultural history."Michael Kater, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus of History, York University
"Celia Applegate is one of the leading practitioners of the socio-cultural history of music of modern Europe. Each essay is a significant and serious piece of scholarship that is beautifully written, combining sharp analysis with intelligible and engaging prose."Anthony J. Steinhoff, Professor of History, Université du Québec à Montréal