Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Title Page, Copyright Page

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. i-vi

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-xii

This project has accompanied me now for more than ten years and across four institutions. Over this period, I have had more opportunities than I can recount to converse with scholars and colleagues about the subject of jazz music and popular culture in Germany during the 1920s. Their cumulative effect has helped shape The Jazz Republic. Even more so, without the collective support, guidance, and knowledge of friends and colleagues, The Jazz Republic simply would not have been completed. Throughout, I’ve also been financially supported through...

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-20

Sometime in the spring of 1925, a sixteen-year-old Berlin native, Alfred Lion, decided to spend a day at the Theater im Admiralspalast. One of the most important entertainment establishments of the German capital, it was well known to Lion from his youth for its renowned skating rink. In 1922, however, the building had been renovated and the rink replaced with a theater hall that could fit an audience of over 2000.1 In addition to its café and casino, this institution featured performances by musical revues and operettas throughout the 1920s....

read more

1. Jazz Occupies Germany

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 21-50

In what has become one of the most cited early commentaries on jazz in Germany,1 Hans Siemsen, cultural critic and early proponent of popular culture, sums up much of the hope placed in jazz by German leftists in the period following war.2 Offering the absurd counterfactual history of Kaiser Wilhelm II dancing jazz, he suggests jazz could have changed the course of German history. While the comedy of this image ensures its effectiveness, both then and today, Siemsen’s words raise more questions than they offer answers. Though...

read more

2. The Aural Shock of Modernity

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 51-83

May 1925 bore witness to arguably the most important performance of an African American jazz band during the Weimar Republic. As part of the Chocolate Kiddies revue at the Admiralspalast, Sam Wooding’s eleven-man orchestra introduced the capital to their brand of New York jazz in a series of more than seventy performances occurring over a two-month period. As noted theater critic Oscar Bie wrote following the premiere: “Everything else has been mere preparation, the bands in the bars, the American operetta at the...

read more

3. Writing Symphonies in Jazz

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 84-114

Symphony and jazz existed at the center of much of the debate about musical culture during the Weimar Republic, in particular through the controversial practice of jazzing the classics, be they Mozart, Beethoven, or Wagner.1 Together, the pair formed what could often seem like a self-writing script of German jazz criticism—both for the music’s proponents as well as its opponents— pitting an almost sacred symphonic tradition against a profane and racially other jazz. Of course, what made the combination of the terms so evocative...

read more

4. Syncopating the Mass Ornament

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 115-140

Nietzsche’s homology between truth and woman raises more than the question of (male) desire and the production of knowledge. His provocative assertion also turns on the incongruous grammatical gendering of “truth” (Wahrheit) and a pejorative term for “woman” (Weib) in the German language. While Wahrheit is figured through the feminine definite article die, Nietzsche’s woman, das Weib, at least grammatically speaking, is no woman at all. She is, rather, a sexless neutrum.1 To Nietzsche, this contradiction between truth (Wahrheit) and...

read more

5. Bridging the Great Divides

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 141-164

In late 1927, the director of Hoch’s Conservatory in Frankfurt am Main, Bernhard Sekles, issued a circular announcing that a program in jazz instruction, a Jazzklasse, would begin next January at the conservatory. News of Sekles’ plan spread quickly as it moved through the daily press to the German music press, the Prussian state parliament, and even across the Atlantic, where the New York Times recapitulated the debate for its American readership under the somewhat misleading headline, “Jazz Bitterly Opposed in Germany.”1 As the first example of post-secondary education in jazz, in Germany and in Europe, there was...

read more

6. Singing the Harlem Renaissance

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 165-196

In June 1932, “loaded down with bags, baggage, books, a typewriter, a victrola, and a big box of Louis Armstrong, Bessie Smith, Duke Ellington and Ethel Waters records,” the African American modernist poet, jazz and blues fan Langston Hughes embarked from New York on a trip that eventually took him across the Soviet Union, Central Asia, and, for one, maybe two nights, to Berlin, Germany.1 Already widely recognized as one of the most important poets of the New Negro modernist movement also known as the Harlem...

read more

7. Jazz’s Silence

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 197-225

Like so much else that had defined the first decade of Germany’s democracy, jazz was very much under attack during the final years of the Weimar Republic. A critical turn set in around 1930 that had as much to do with transatlantic trends in popular music as with the crises in politics and the economy that dominated the republic during the last years of its existence.1 If jazz, and with it jazz effects, nonetheless continued to be produced—through musical works...

read more

Conclusion

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 226-240

The end of the Weimar Republic in 1933 meant, amongst many other things, that the stakes of jazz for German culture changed fundamentally, and Adorno’s incomplete opera is but one example of this. Around the same time as members of Germany’s internationalist avant-garde took leave of jazz as a progressive art form, the Nazi attack on “cultural bolshevism” further wed the rejection of “Jewish modernism” with Blackness and jazz.1 What this ultimately...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 241-302

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 303-312