The year 1960 marks the point of departure for Edgar Reitz's twenty-five-hour movie Die zweite Heimat (The Second Homeland), which tries to reconstruct ten years of German history from the selective perspective of young avant-garde artists in Munich. In contrast to critics who claim that the music in Die zweite Heimat functions merely as a “quid pro quo” for Reitz's film aesthetic, I intend to illustrate the highly independent role of music, which does not simply coincide with the medium of film but occupies a distinct position within the decade's sociopolitical landscape. The compositional diversity of the heterogeneous styles and programs presents a music-historical panorama that comprises dodecaphonic, aleatory, bruitist, phonetic, music-theatrical, and electronic music along with classical works and art songs from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. In this regard Die zweite Heimat fills a gap left open in German literature since Thomas Mann's Doktor Faustus by presenting a fictional portrayal of music's history after World War II.

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