Edward Larkey
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Popular music on East German television
Constructing the televisual pop community in the GDR
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Popular music in the GDR was always subject to intense political scrutiny so that Western influences, if they could not be prevented altogether, would at least be incorporated into discursive structures approved by the socialist state. This was particularly evident in pop music programmes on GDR television. Closely analysing the content and aesthetics of programmes from 1969, 1974 and 1983, this chapter assesses their address to youth audiences and shows how attempts to construct musical alternatives to capitalist pop music gradually gave way to musical and presentational forms more closely resembling their Western counterparts, even embracing mild nods toward criticism and rebelliousness. He maps these developments against changes in GDR cultural policies towards both television and popular music.

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