conflict & communication online, Vol. 20, No. 2, 2021
ISSN 1618-0747




Reinke Schwinning
From dishwashing girl to buccaneer captain. Music as a means of political-ideological mediation in Ernst Bloch's music philosophy

Music is often used in various educational contexts. Especially in the (often inglorious) history of imparting political and ideological subject matters, the effectiveness of this usage is undisputed. In his music philosophy, established in his early magnum opus Geist der Utopie, Ernst Bloch explores the question of what causes the special effect music has on recipients. According to his epistemology, music provides listeners with a unique way of self-encounter and utopian visions of possible futures, thanks to its expressiveness and immediacy. Bloch’s theory, which tries to explain the educational effectiveness of music, is put to the test by himself: In his writings on Bertolt Brecht’s and Kurt Weill's Threepenny Opera, he examines the postulated ability of its musical rendering to convey Marxist-revolutionary ideas.


  englischer Volltext in German  

The author:

Reinke Schwinning studied school music and philosophy. Since 2014, he has been a research assistant at the Department of Historical Musicology at the University of Siegen. His dissertation, completed in 2017, is a philological commentary on the key chapters of the "Philosophy of Music" in the two original versions of Ernst Bloch's early major work Geist der Utopie (1918/1923). His research focuses on music aesthetics, 20th and 21st century music, and epistemic and ideological aspects of video game music, in addition to Bloch's music-related work.
Address: Historical Musicology, Faculty II, Department of Music and Arts, University of Siegen, Adolf-Reichwein-Straße , 57068 Siegen, Germany