Brecht and Music

Marc Silberman's picture
Call for Papers
February 1, 2018
Pennsylvania, United States
Subject Fields: 
German History / Studies, Music and Music History, Popular Culture Studies

Brecht and Music

German Studies Association conference (Pittsburgh, 27-30 September, 2018)   

Co-sponsored by the International Brecht Society and the GSA Music and Sound Studies Network

Brecht’s “epic theater” gained much in complexity and critical potential through musical collaborations. The duo of “Brecht and Weill” are household names in music and theater conservatories, and any scholar interested in studying Brecht’s politics will invariably come across the duo of Brecht and Eisler. Moreover, if communities outside academia come across Brecht, it is most likely through a cover of “Mack the Knife,” “Pirate Jenny,” or the “Alabama Song.” Simply put, many encounter Brecht for the first time through music.

This panel seeks to discuss the legacy of Brecht and his musical collaborators. Whether to deepen our understanding of a specific Brecht text set to music, or to consider contemporary performance practices, we seek papers that address Brecht’s relationship with music in topics including:

- songs, opera, musicals, concert works, incidental music, film soundtracks or collaborations with composers such as: Kurt Weill, Hanns Eisler, Paul Hindemith, Paul Dessau, or Kurt Schwaen

- musical Covers of Brecht’s songs by jazz, popular, or alternative artists

- the influence of Brecht’s style on subsequent music practitioners, such as: Bob Dylan, David Bowie, or Wolf Biermann

-the performance practice of Brecht’s theatre, concert, and opera today

Send abstracts of 250 words + short bio by 1 February 2018 to:

Ellen Chew, chewec [a] and

Heidi Hart, heidi.hard [a]

All presenters at the GSA conference must become GSA members by February 15, 2018:

Contact Info: 

Ellen Chew, Dept. of German, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, OH 45221


Contact Email: