Organ music in Nazi Germany by Jan Hage

by Jan Hage | Het ORGEL | Year 104 | (2008) | Issue 4

Jan Hage Organ music in Nazi Germany
HetORGEL 104 (2008), nr. 4, 36-43 [summary]
German church music of the 1930s can be viewed as practically usefulchurch music originating from a re-orientation toward the roots ofGerman culture, in which neo-classical ideals like “generallycomprehensible” and “uniting thecongregation” played a role.
It also functioned withinnational socialism. Church music composers in nazi Germany madethemselves opportunistically useful to nazi culture, and composed alsosecular works of which some are interwoven with national socialism.
Noteven German organ culture could escape the control of nazi culture.Monumental organs could symbolize better than any other instruments theideals of the time: they symbolized society as a whole, that could beplayed by a single person (Führer).
The static sound of theorgan matched the desired objectivity, and the overwhelming sound ofthe organ referred to the innate power of society. The organ wastherefore used with great frequency in (political) celebrations.