Divergenzen und Konvergenzen. Musikpolitik in Deutschland, Polen und der Tschechoslowakei

Detlef Gojowy


A general convergence of the cultures in these countries is based on their common history: their affiliation to Roman Christianized Europe and their share in all developments from polyphony over the major-minor system to dodekaphony, their share in all styles from Gothic to Dadaism; even nationalist and fascist thoughts show unexpected parallels which are continued in the period of Stalinism.
In this period it is a problem to State convergences and divergences in comparing Western and Eastern cultures, since these structures are the result of free development on one side and of politico-cultural control on the other side. What these controls looked like and on which contents and targets they were based, has been examined in the term of "cultural inheritance". The postulate of the "critical function" of art, current in the West, which also excludes conventional categories of inauguration and adoration, hardly has been understood in the East. Also in those cases where cultural exchange takes place and the structures look similar, the intellectual as well as the economic requirements often were and still are very different and incompatible.
The politico-cultural developments in East Central Europe showed great differences in the various countries: purely Stalinist norms, practised in a moderate way and connected with tough conservatism and insulation against aesthetic innovation in the G.D.R.; since 1956 a very early and effective intellectual and cultural emancipation in Poland being still in the post-war period of reconstruction; and an eventful process in Czechoslovakia: the gradual emergence of New Music in the sixties, then suppression of all independent developments after the invasion of 1968, the consequences of which were only slowly alleviated.