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The Musical Arsenal In the First World War. “Die Wacht am Rhein“ In Transylvanian Saxons’ Repertoire (2017-2018 )

Field of study: History

This article investigates the political and social role of the song Die Wacht am Rhein in the context of the Great War and focuses on its presence in the Transylvanian Saxons’ repertoire. I examine the social and political connotations of its performance before and during the Great War. I demonstrate how the song was instrumentalized to serve the processes of mobilization and how it was able to keep up the morale of both combatants sent to fight and of the ones on the home front. I insist on the capacity of the song to be integrated in a polyphony of national repertoires and even to transgress ethnic borders. I also show the migrating power of the metaphor of “border watch” and its capacity to overlap various other geographical and political realities from the Eastern front.

Keywords: music, Die Wacht am Rhein, Transylvanian Saxons, The Great War, Pan-Germanism

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