Martha Sprigge

On "Germany's Musical Ruins." Tuesday, February 20, 2018, 5:00pm, Phelps 6206. Sponsored by Germanic and Slavic Studies.

The Department of Germanic and Slavic Studies cordially invites you to a lecture by Martha Sprigge: "Germany’s Musical Ruins." On Tuesday, February 20, 2018, 5:00pm, Phelps 6206. In the summer of 1945, cities across occupied Germany lay in ruins, sometimes rendered entirely unrecognizable in the aftermath of Allied aerial bombing attacks during World War II. In this talk, I examine musical responses to the Air War. Composers who responded Germany’s post-catastrophic landscape by engaging with visceral images of urban destruction in their compositions participated in a larger artistic trend known as Trümmerkünste, or the “rubble arts” that flourished across both Germanys in the late wartime and early postwar years. These musical works transformed the aftermath of the bombing—the rubble—into an aesthetic object—or, a ruin—at both the level of composition and performance.

Martha Sprigge is Assistant Professor of Musicology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Her work examines musical expressions of mourning and loss in Germany and Eastern Europe, and she is currently writing a book on musical mourning and commemorative culture in the former German Democratic Republic.


date of event: 

Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 17:00


Phelps 6206C, GCLR Seminar Room