Music from 1920s Berlin

Today we present a pro­gramme of music from the 1920s and 1930s, but with a spe­cial focus: we’re fea­tur­ing an exten­sive col­lec­tion of authen­tic pop­u­lar music record­ings from 1920s Ger­many, cour­tesy of Jo Yard­ley and the 1920s Berlin Project.

The col­lec­tion includes some tunes from the US and Britain, but it focus­es on home-grown artists from the era of the Weimar Repub­lic, such as Julian Fuhs. Fuhs was born in Berlin in 1891, emi­grat­ed to the US in 1916, and then returned in 1924. He and his wide­ly pop­u­lar orches­tras, play­ing Amer­i­can-inspired music, were respon­si­ble for estab­lish­ing jazz in Ger­many in the 1920s.

In addi­tion there are mod­ern re-cre­ations of the music of this time and place, cour­tesy of artists like Max Raab and the Palast Orch­ester and, more gen­er­al­ly, oth­er pieces of pop­u­lar music from the peri­od between the First and Sec­ond World Wars.

The 1920s Berlin Project is an effort to recre­ate the atmos­phere of Berlin in 1929, through the medi­um of the vir­tu­al world of Sec­ond Life. SL gives you the oppor­tu­ni­ty to trav­el in time, vir­tu­al­ly. Berlin in the 1920s was a very inter­est­ing time, polit­i­cal­ly, cul­tur­al­ly and in many oth­er ways. The idea behind the Project is to try and recre­ate the atmos­phere of this fan­tas­tic city in that amaz­ing era.


Their goal is to show an as real­is­tic and authen­tic as pos­si­ble expe­ri­ence of vis­it­ing this part of his­to­ry. The 1920s Berlin Project want­ed to show vis­i­tors both sides of the coin; the amaz­ing mod­ern hous­es near Unter Den Lin­den where mod­ern rich peo­ple in the lat­est fash­ion live a life of leisure, but also the dirty, nar­row streets with tiny apart­ments where the poor try to sur­vive.

You can learn more about the 1920s Berlin Project by watch­ing Mon­day’s edi­tion of Design­ing Worlds, the week­ly show on design and design­ers in vir­tu­al worlds, on Treet.TV. The show goes out at 2pm Pacif­ic / 22:00 GMT — click here at that time to view it. Alter­na­tive­ly, the show will be avail­able on the Design­ing Worlds page above a day or two lat­er.

The ZBS Radio Hour

At 11am and 7pm Pacif­ic / 19:00 and 03:00 GMT, tune in for the lat­est install­ments of our seri­als from ZBS Foun­da­tion. (See sep­a­rate entry.)

Today’s pro­gramme is pre­sent­ed by Elrik Mer­lin. You can lis­ten to the pro­gramme at, or sim­ply click here to start your play­er, if your brows­er is con­fig­ured to do so. Lis­ten­ers in the Unit­ed States are encour­aged to tune in using this link:


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