Over three decades the works of Frankfurt School member Theodor W. Adorno played an important role in the didactic conceptualization of popular music in Germany. This resulted in a predominantly analytical, ethic-centred and, in the end, pejorative agenda. Educationalists who advocated an affirmative approach to popular music needed to formulate “new” objectives that would serve as a true alternative to the highly elaborated Adornian framework. Though affirmative approaches finally became prevalent, the didactic situation remained delicate, since the teaching of popular music was also subject to general debates on how school education shall be constituted. Subsequently, the subject “popular music” became more and more tied to overall educational goals, whereas the objective dimension was increasingly ignored. The paper aims to reconstruct the complex path from critical to post-critical didactic efforts, finally addressing current issues, especially the notion of popular music as cultural practice. The “paradigm shift” towards affirmation is demonstrated on the basis of both theoretical works and curricular sources.
Jost, Christofer (2015) Beyond Adorno: Post-Critical Teaching of Popular Music in the German Educational System and Its Theoretical and Practical Challenges. In: IASPM Journal: International Association for the Study of Popular Music, Vol. 5, No. 1, pp. 195-212. Available at https://openmusiclibrary.org/article/5365/.