Böse Musik

Odes To Violence, Death, and The Devil

What do we enjoy in such a thing as evil music created to praise the violence, the death, or quite bluntly: the devil HIMself. - And if so: Can we even imagine a world in which an aesthetic approach to our world would neglect all violence, all torture, all killing of others?


“The evil has no songs,” or so goes an old German saying. Yet an English saying contradicts this point of view: “The devil has all the best tunes.”

More than any other art form, music seems to tend to romanticize violence, be it in gangsta-rap, death metal, mafia songs, the rembetiko, warrior songs, or old ballads in praise of murderers. Besides addressing these musics, “Böse Musik” (Evil Music) will also look at Muzak, sonic warfare, and Nazi rock. Here, the intentionality of humanity is studied using a musical example: what drives people? Why do they marvel at lawbreakers? Why do we find violence sexy? What music sounds evil from the point of view of which morality or lifestyle?

Böse Musik is part II of a series of III thematic weekends at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt on the fringes of musical cultures in the 21st century:

Part I: Unmenschliche Musik/Inhuman Music (2013)
Part II: Böse Musik/Evil Music (2013)
Part III: Doofe Musik/Stupid Music (2014)



Detlef Diederichsen



Haus der Kulturen der Welt (2012/13)



Böse Musik



Haus der Kulturen der Welt



Böse Musik. Oden an Gewalt, Tod und Teufel – Ein thematisches Wochenende, Haus der Kulturen der Welt Berlin October 2013 (together with Detlef Diederichsen)

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