Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Faculty of Humanities and Social Science - History of Education




„Discourses on the practices of GDR music education between 1949 and 1990“ (working title)



The dissertation project researches the history of music education in the GDR utilising a discourse analytic approach. The existing research on music education in the GDR, or on its history and the history of GDR musical pedagogy, takes place primarily in the form of a comparison with music education in West Germany. At the same time, the existing studies focus mostly on the teaching program, as examined in curricula or in didactic publications. School music education is viewed from the perspective that was created by the structures, goals and tasks that were specified by the State and Education Ministers of the GDR.

In my work I am attempting to reconstruct the practices of classroom instruction, this is the actual teaching practices, that were deployed by teachers and students. This is to be done by presenting, elaborating on and describing the teaching practices and routines of teachers and students. It is only in light of this that questions of a comparison, of continuity and discontinuity in music education can be answered appropriately. The same applies to the question regarding the influence of the ideological systems on specialised teaching, in which ability, and therefore "implied knowledge", routines and practicing most likely played an important role.

The practices are reconstructed by means of printed and non-printed sources from the library and archive collections of the BBF (Bibliothek für Bilungsgeschichtliche Forschung / Research Library for the History of Education). It is no longer possible to actively experience practices of music education from the past; therefore, conclusions as to practices must be obtained from different sources, especially texts. Official documents as well as knowledge gained from relevant literature on GDR music education serve as a guideline. In addition to the analysis of the above mentioned sources, interviews will be conducted with participants in and initiators of the school music education of time.