Gelebte Transnationalität

Deutsche Gesangskultur in den USA im langen 19. Jahrhundert

  • Sabine Mecking Philipps-Universität Marburg


In this article singing is not first and foremost interpreted in its tonal texture, but as a cultural, social and political-historical phenomenon. Using the example of the German vocal culture in the USA in the "long 19th century", the function and effect of singing is examined. The focus is on songs, musical symbols and rituals as an expression of social and political communication. Singing together strengthened the formation and sharpening of a specific identity of the so-called German-Americans. In the German-language singing the old "Heimat" did not remain abstract, but was experienced in a concrete emotional way and connected with the American foreign land or the new homeland. The vocals about German fatherland were thus a point of reference in the new American world, but at the same time this connection was relativized and historicized in the course of time. This transculturality and transnationality lived through singing proved to be a social and political challenge, especially in times of increasing national tensions.

How to Cite
Mecking, S. (2020). Gelebte Transnationalität: Deutsche Gesangskultur in den USA im langen 19. Jahrhundert. European Journal of Musicology, 19(1), 1–17.