Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Musik och politik i skuggan av nazismen: Kurt Atterberg och de svensk-tyska musikrelationerna
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Ethnology, Comparative Religion and Gender Studies.
2007 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)Alternative title
Music and Politics in the Shadow of Nazism : Kurt Atterberg and Swedish-German Musical Relations (English)
Abstract [en]

This thesis deals with relations between music and politics in Sweden and Germany during the 1930s and 40s. I study how music was used as a political tool, and the ideas that existed about musical expression of national and ethnic identity and about “good” and “bad” music. I argue that these conceptions became a driving force and were important to Swedish relations with Nazi Germany. The study focuses on material by and about the Swedish composer Kurt Atterberg (1887–1974). Atterberg was a central figure in the world of Swedish music during the first half of the 20th century and his life gives a glimpse of the spirit of the time. The theoretical platform arises from a critical discourse analysis combined with theories about modernity, nationalism and ethnicity. The empirical basis of the thesis consists of material from Swedish, German and Austrian archives, newspaper articles, radio programmes and interviews with composers of today.

My study shows how Sweden and Germany inspired each other in the musical relationship. Both countries encountered similar problems. In the first half of the 20th century, modernisation accelerated in Europe, which also meant dramatic changes in musical life. Music could be spread to a greater extent without the composer’s control. New techniques, for example the sound movie, left many musicians unemployed. New musical styles appeared and challenged establishments. I argue that different ideas about national identity and its musical expression were important for the development of relations between Sweden and Nazi Germany. For many composers and musicians an engagement in Nazi Germany was interpreted as a contribution to the establishing of a strong national identity and the improvement of their own national musical life.

Swedish-German musical relations were also influenced by different views on music and politics. For Nazi politicians music and politics ran together and music was to give expression to Nazi ideology. In Sweden music and politics were to be kept apart. Different perspectives on music and politics made it possible for Swedish composers and musicians to be active in Nazi Germany and to define their engagement as purely musical work. The Nazi government could for its part use Nordic composers and music to confirm Nazi ideas on race biology and to spread Nazi propaganda.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Institutionen för etnologi, religionshistoria och genusstudier , 2007. , 294 p.
Södertörn Doctoral Dissertations, ISSN 1652-7399 ; 1652-7399
Keyword [en]
nation, nationalism, Nazism, modernity, Sweden, Germany, Swedish-German relations, Kurt Atterberg, music, politics, identity, race, critical discourse analysis
National Category
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-7122ISBN: 978-91-85767-08-3OAI: diva2:197691
Public defence
2007-11-23, hörsal 11, hus F, Universitetsvägen 10, Stockholm, 10:00
Available from: 2007-11-01 Created: 2007-10-16Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

By organisation
Department of Ethnology, Comparative Religion and Gender Studies

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 1410 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link