Popular Music, Memory, and Aestheticized Historiography in a Minor Key: Einsturzende Neubauten's Lament for World War I's Dead

Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Popular Music and Society, 2020
Issue Date:
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© 2019, © 2019 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Music, memory, and historicity relate to each other at a number of levels. I use Einstürzende Neubauten’s Lament (2014) to think through possibilities of musically engaging with history and memory, and to question what functions this particular minor-key musical memory of World War I fulfils. Music such as Lament offers a multimodal connection with the past and can generate in listeners a strong historical sensation. It can thereby activate the listener, but the fugitiveness of musical meaning means that listeners may not always pick up on productive cues. Affective, historicizing cues can be undercut in the process of reception.
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