Schlager in Deutschland edited by Siegmund Helms
“Schlager” are hits; the common idea is striking Hit and plug, smash and beat; they sound like industrial processes, and so they are. Add a claque, going like the clappers, and you have enough manual' labour for a major industry. But it works for every one, because every highbrow includes a lowbrow. Breitkopf fittingly finds room for both, in this analytical survey of pop music, its manufacturers, and its markets. The 24 essays from 15 knowledgeable contributors cover not only stars and groups but composers and lyric-writers, styles and influences, recording techniques, use of the media, the place of hits in schools (the top ten, not the best six) and the sociological function of pop music. On that last topic, as so often, Theodor Adorno has said the last word – “Schemata von Identifikation”. This is aptly quoted by Hermann Rauhe, whose interesting study suggests an empirical verification of that model.
The entire symposium of nearly 400 clothbound pages is well produced, copiously illustrated and thoughtfully written-compulsory reading for all serious students of the German pop scene, and other ethnomusicologists.
The Musical Times, Sept. 1973 (p. 904) © the estate of eric sams