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Title: ElectroCentral : the influence of Weimar culture on pop music in the 1970s and '80s
Author: Ostroff, Nadya
ISNI:       0000 0004 2675 5022
Awarding Body: City University
Current Institution: City, University of London
Date of Award: 2009
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This thesis is an investigation into the influence of Weimar Berlin’s culture on British popular music of the 1970 and 1980s. The two eras are studied historically and artistically though the constant and ever-changing backdrop of the city of Berlin. The retrospective significance in postmodern terms is examined through music of David Bowie, Lou Reed and Kraftwerk and of the subcultures of punk and post-punk; their respective incorporation of elements, usually associated with ‘others’, reveals an alternative approach to artistic production in response to the ‘authentic’ American model. The breakdown of the divisions between diametrically opposed principles and ideologies is featured as artists consistently sought to erode boundaries. Chapter 1’Beyond Divine Symmetry’ looks at radical ideas in philosophy, politics and arts in the late-nineteenth century and World War I and the challenges brought to conservative forces. 2 ‘Willkommen in Berlin’ focuses on post-World War I socio-economic and political ramifications, on Berlin and corresponding art and leisure industries. 3 ‘Out and About’ continues reviewing the arts and culture of Weimar Berlin and the impact of new forms of art and technologies had on the city 4 ‘Officially Degenerate’ looks at art, music and other elements deemed ‘degenerate’ under the Third Reich, 5 ‘Traveling in Time’ compares the opposing ideologies of the East and West and the role of Berlin during the Cold War, 6 ‘David Bowie: The Changing Face of Influence’ refers to Bowie’s glam period and his most obvious use of references to Weimar, 7 ‘Berlin Personified: Lou Reed’ analyses Reed’s seminal albums of Transformer and Berlin 8 ‘German Irony: Kraftwerk’ scrutinizes the band’s inference that they were a continuance of Bauhaus, 9 ‘David Bowie: About Face’ looks at the artist’s years living and working in Berlin in the mid-1970s, 10 ‘England’s Projecting: Punk’ attempts to reveal why the subculture saw Weimar Berlin as comparable to mid-1970s London and 11 ‘Eye to I: Post-punk’ demonstrates how the evolved subculture created their musical-art by incorporating ideas from Berlin’s inter-war years to express Cold War induced anxiety.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: M Music