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Title [sv]
Mellan öst och väst: Ideologi, estetik och politik i musikrelationerna Sverige–DDR 1949 -1989
Title [en]
Between East and West: Ideology, aesthetics and politics in the musical relations between Sweden and the GDR 1949–1989
Abstract [en]
Between East and West: Ideology, aesthetics and politics in the musical relations between Sweden and the GDR 1949–1989 Germany has since the 19th century been an important country of interest for musicians and composers from Sweden, both as a platform for international attention and in order to get a high standard musical education. During the Nazi period the musical connections were not cut off, but the reactions towards the excessive politicization of music were quite different. After World War II endeavors have been made in order to reshape the musical contacts between Sweden and the newly shaped German states. Sweden as a political neutral state had a special position during the Cold War. GDR authorities defined Sweden as an important country for their political propaganda. This project aims to study and analyze the musical relationship between Sweden and the GDR. Which role did music play in GDR’s attempted rapprochement with Sweden? And how did musicians, composers, musicologists and institutions in Sweden frame the musical encounters with the GDR and why? Central issues in the project will include the encounters between GDRs internationally oriented culture politics (and those operating in the field) and the musical organizations and stakeholders in Sweden. Main questions in the project are: How can the musical encounters between Sweden and the GDR been characterized regarding dimensions, key areas, organizations and alteration? How did esthetic and musicological ideas connect to politics and ideology in the musical relationship between Sweden and the GDR? How do analyses of the musical encounters contribute to a better understanding of the Cold War context? So far there are only a few studies which concentrate on questions of cultural encounters between Sweden and the GDR. In this project documents from Swedish and German archives will be studied and contemporary witnesses will be interviewed. Three researchers from the disciplines History, Ethnology and Musicology will tightly work together. From a historical perspective the context of the German musical heritage for national identity construction within Swedish-East German musical relations will be examined, ethnological perspectives offer analytical tools for studying opinions on music, esthetics and politics in different groups and societies, and musicology contributes with theories and methods for studying how different music genres and styles could be instrumentalized in political propaganda.
Publications (1 of 1) Show all publications
Open this publication in new window or tab >>"Jag ser till att bli uppfattad som en vanlig DDR-medborgare": Musikforskaren Gerd Schönfelder, Kungliga Musikaliska Akademien och Stasi
2019 (Swedish)In: Svensk tidskrift för musikforskning, E-ISSN 2002-021X, Vol. 101, p. 103-135Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This article is a case study of the contacts between the music sector in Sweden and the GDR in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s. The case is the activities of the East-German musicologist and music administrator Gerd Schönfelder (1936–2000) in Sweden at that time, and the debate that arose in the early 1990s when he was accused of having worked for the East German security service, Stasi. The purpose is to provide insight into how music-aesthetic and musicological aspects interacted with politics and ideology in the relations between Sweden and the GDR. In the early 1990s, the availability of material in the Stasi archive was still very limited, and so it was difficult to find out whether it was true that Schönfelder had worked for Stasi, what tasks he had received from the security service and what these tasks meant for his work with Swedish colleagues in the music field. In our article, we try to find answers to these questions by examining how Schönfelder established contact with the Swedish music sector, who were his closest partners in Sweden, and why they were of interest to him. Throughout, we explore Schönfelder’s relationship to Stasi and his work as an ”unofficial employee” for Stasi in Sweden. Finally, we offer a sociological perspective on Schönfelder’s activities in Sweden and the GDR, using Pierre Bourdieu's concepts of field and capital.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Svenska samfundet för musikforskning, 2019
Gerd Schönfelder; Hans Åstrand; Eskil Hemberg; Per Skans; The Royal Swedish Academy of Music; Musical relations GDR – Sweden; Stasi; Unofficial employee; Pierre Bourdieu, Gerd Schönfelder; Hans Åstrand; Eskil Hemberg; Per Skans; Kungliga Musikaliska Akademien; Musikkontakter Sverige - DDR; Stasi; Inofficiell medarbetare; Pierre Bourdieu, Gerd Schönfelder; Hans Åstrand; Eskil Hemberg; Per Skans; Königliche Musikalische Akademie; Musikkontakte Schweden - DDR; Stasi; Inoffizieller Mitarbeiter; Pierre Bourdieu
National Category
Research subject
Historical Studies; Baltic and East European studies
urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-39233 (URN)
The Foundation for Baltic and East European Studies, 3027302
Available from: 2019-10-29 Created: 2019-10-29 Last updated: 2020-03-02Bibliographically approved
Principal InvestigatorGarberding, Petra
Co-InvestigatorGeisler, Ursula
Co-InvestigatorRosengren, Henrik
Coordinating organisation
Södertörn University
2016-01-01 - 2018-12-31
Keywords [sv]
Östersjö- och Östeuropaforskning
Keywords [en]
Baltic and East European studies
National Category
DiVA, id: project:1899Project, id: 29/2015_OSS

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