Landmusik: Promoting Music-Making in Rural Areas

Key Visual Landmusik / Grafik: Satz und Sieg

Rural regions account for about 90 percent of German territory. More than half of the German population lives in smaller towns and communities.

Over the last decade, the focus of political discussion has increasingly turned to the strengthening of rural areas and the creation of equal living conditions throughout Germany. The cultural diversity characterising Germany as a country with a rich musical heritage should also be visible in the countryside. Supporting musical life in rural areas contributes to a qualitative convergence of urban and rural areas. Cultural development can only keep pace with economic development when the living standards in rural areas remains a viable alternative to that in metropolitan areas.

The “Landmusik” programme aims to support rural areas as independent social and economic environments, taking into account their different development potentials, and sustainably maintaining their attractiveness in the future.

Culture, especially music, has a crucial influence on community life in the countryside. Associations and church congregation cultivate traditions, as well as they establish new forms of cultural practice. Social integration requires the experience of community, an appreciation of differences and curiosity about fellow human beings or the social environment. Encounters by cultural activities therefore offer potentials to foster community building. The German Music Council runs the Landmusik programme with funding from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media.

The funding was based on multiple priorities, including project funding, the support of special music venues in rural areas and the providing of a particular training programme.

Training courses for full-time and part-time on cultural entrepreneurship in rural areas were held in cooperation with the State Music Academies of Brandenburg, Hesse, Saxony-Anhalt and Thuringia. Some courses addressed specific target groups in rural areas, others were open to all interested individuals. The training programme started in November 2021 and continued with various face-to-face and online sessions until December 2022.

My responsibilities in this project included the conception and implementation of the project measures on behalf of the Landemusikakademie Saxony-Anhalt.

Training courses organised by Saxony-Anhalt especially focused on the digital transformation in general, as well as on the particular potential of digitalisation for living standards and cultural participation in rural areas. Despite the obstacles posed by the Corona pandemic, a total of 14 online seminars and 3 face-to-face events were held in the State Music Academies of Brandenburg, Hesse and Saxony-Anhalt, covering topics such as the following: Tools and perspectives of digital music making, open source software for real time music-making via the internet, open source toolbox for teaching music via the internet, opportunities and tools for online marketing, challenges in planning and running digital events.

The “Landmusik” programme expired at the end of December 2022 as scheduled.