Organisations, associations, societies and foundations fulfil an important role in the German music world. Cultural associations and other interest groups in the cultural sector act as intermediaries between the government and society in coordinating their members’ views on cultural policy and expressing these in the form of concerted requests which are passed on to government bodies. They seek direct contact with parliament and the executive with the aim of influencing the formation of political decision-making processes and bringing about a consensus between the wishes voiced by the population on the one hand and the concepts of government bodies on the other.
The musical associations and other organisations described in this section, with their diversity of focus and cultural policy objectives, mirror a tightly structured and highly differentiated musical culture. They represent their respective interests with varying accentuation in the different policy areas involved: specialised policy areas in the narrower sense, music and cultural policy, education and science policy, economic policies, fiscal policy, social policy and wages policy. Different objectives often merge, making a clear division of responsibilities between associations, societies and federations impractical. For this reason, it was decided to include all the various types of organisations and organisation forms in one section. In order to have at least a rough structural outline, the Systematic Search contains the option of grouping the various organisations and associations under specific musical functions. In this process, organisations with a broader range of functions are listed several times according to all the functions they primarily perform.
The first sub-section gives a description of the central umbrella association in the German music world. The German Music Council and the Music Councils in the federal states are the organisations with overarching responsibilities in the music policy of national and state governments. The German Music Council is made up of the German Music Council e.V, with a mandate in the culture policy area, and the non-profit Project Company of the German Music Council, which coordinates all the various musical projects. Close cooperation with the Music Councils in the federal states mirrors the responsibilities of these states for culture, education and media policy and underpins effective representation of state interests at the national level and, where appropriate, coordinates these interests nationwide. In addition, there are overarching groups for some specific aspects of music, such as federations in the sphere of amateur music who are usually part of the German Music Council organisation. Both the German Music Council and a number of music associations in turn belong to European and international organisations.
The Associations, Federations and Societies sub-section covers organisations whose mandate gives them a national or international focus; organisations active at a state level are included in some cases for particular historical or regional reasons. Many of the associations and societies described are – corresponding to Germany’s federal structure – subdivided into state associations that are listed under the association in question. Societies or federations whose activities are closely related to those in other sections (i.e. collecting societies) are listed under the corresponding sub-sections. The myriad regional and local societies and federations that play a vital role in the music life of states, regions, cities and districts could not be included for space reasons. This also applies to promotion associations whose main task is the support of an institution listed elsewhere (i.e. Society for the Promotion of Arnold Schönberg’s Complete Works).
Under the Foundations heading, support bodies are listed that are active in the sphere of music. This includes foundations with a broad span of promotion activities and also those that concentrate mainly on promoting music. Organisations with the legal form of a foundation whose focus is mainly in another area are listed in the relevant sections (i.e. under Promotional Measures and Research and Documentation).