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David Josef Bach and Viennese Debates on Modern Music

CHRISTIAN GLANZ
Austrian Studies
Vol. 14, Culture and Politics in Red Vienna (2006), pp. 185-195
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27944806
Page Count: 11
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David Josef Bach and Viennese Debates on Modern Music
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Abstract

David Josef Bach and his contemporary Arnold Schönberg enjoyed a close personal relationship that began in their youth. During his decades of service in the context of Social Democratic cultural politics in Vienna Bach repeatedly manifested his support of Schönberg and his work. Nonetheless, Bach's role in the Viennese Workers' Music Movement is not adequately represented by the phrase 'advocate of the new'. For him the heritage of musical tradition, an educational canon, was fundamental to the Workers' Music Movement and could be made available to the workers in a systematic manner. The central concept that was applied in this context was 'popularity' in the sense of 'belonging to the people'. Seit ihrer gemeinsam verbrachten Jugendzeit bestanden enge persönliche Beziehungen zwischen David Josef Bach und dem gleichaltrigen Arnold Schönberg. In Bachs jahrzehntelanger Arbeit im Rahmen der sozialdemokratischen Kulturpolitik in Wien hat er sich immer wieder für Schönberg und sein Werk eingesetzt. Dennoch ist Bachs Rolle in der Wiener Arbeitermusikbewegung nicht auf die eines 'Anwalts des Neuen' beschränkt. Grundsätzliche Bedeutung für die Arbeitermusikbewegung hat für ihn das Erbe der Musiktradition im Sinn eines Bildungskanons, der auch den Arbeitern konsequent zu vermitteln wäre. Volkstümlichkeit ist dabei die zentrale Kategorie, die zur Anwendung gelangt.

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