Berghain & Beyond - A Critical Investigation Of Berlin Techno

Berlin is recognized to be the world’s Techno capital, but for all that where does the story begin? Together - through reading texts, watching films, going on excursions and applying different approaches to musical analysis - we will explore the history, aesthetics and economics of the vivid electronic music scene in Berlin.

Berlin Techno (meant as an umbrella term for all Electronic Dance Music scenes in the city) is deeply rooted in its subcultural past as well as the history of Germany after the fall of the Wall. At the same time, it is a highly professional and internationalized contemporary musical culture and a business.

The goal of our course is to discuss and understand Berlin Techno between these poles. We will go through the history of Techno and ask how it could be written and told, how it is attached to present social, technical, and aesthetical developments. The discussion will be based on the present academic discourse about Techno, but will also survey the city itself as a source, including tours to significant locations and venues, as well as talks to business and scene insiders.

Matthias Pasdzierny studied musicology, music and German literature in Stuttgart, Berlin, Hildesheim and Krakow. 

2013 Dr. Phil. (Wiederaufnahme? Rückkehr aus dem Exil und das westdeutsche Musikleben nach 1945), University of Arts Berlin (UdK);

Since 2007 research assistant in musicology at the UdK, 2009-2014 research assistant at the DFG-research project „Kontinuitaeten und Brueche im Musikleben der Nachkriegszeit“;

Since May 2016 research coordinator of the Bernd Alois Zimmermann Edition at the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities ( Subjects of research: History of music in Germany after 1945; Techno/EDM aesthetics and history; Pop music and German history; Digital Music Edition.

Kim Feser is a musicologist, sociologist, and philosopher. His research and teaching activity focuses on the relationship between aesthetics and technology in electronic music, new music, and in the frontiers of pop/underground/avant-garde. He gave lectures not only in Germany but also in the USA and Japan (2017) as well as in China (2018).

In 2016–2018, he published texts analyzing the use of synthesizers and sequencers in music. In 2016, following an international conference, he published the volume Techno Studies. Aesthetics and History of Electronic Dance Music (in German; with M. Pasdzierny). Between 2011 and 2017, he was an UdK research assistant in a project initiated by the German Research Foundation at the International Darmstadt Summer Course for New Music. In 2018 and 2019, he’s been teaching at the Berlin University of the Arts as well as at the Free University of Berlin.

Run period:
23.08.2018 – 25.08.2018
Course time:
10.00 am – 5.00 pm
Application Deadline:

Course fee:
EUR 440

Min. number of participants:
Max. number of participants:

For further information please contact: