(English: 'useful music')

Music term coined by Paul Hindemith in the 1920s. Roughly it means 'Music which serves the purpose', especially in a social or educational way. As a reaction to difficult Romantic music, the proponents of Gebrauchsmusik, led by Hindemith and Weill (both influenced by the Bauhaus movement and the poet Bertolt Brecht), started composing music that could be played by anyone and should appeal to widest possible audience.
Gebrauchsmusik ranged from songs, marches, radioplays, 'Lehrstucke' to complete theatre works (most notably, The Threepenny Opera).
Especially new technologies like radio, cinema and grammophone were important factors in the popularity of Gebrauchsmusik.
After the war most of its ideas where picked up by composers in former East Germany and mainly used in utilitarian music.

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