Popular Music

Middle Eight

More than just music: the seven dimensions of the Eurovision Song Contest

Irving Wolthera1

a1 GoeGenstrasse 3, 30161 Hannover, Germany E-mail: Wolther@phonos.de

Abstract

The Eurovision Song Contest (ESC) is one of the most-watched entertainment programmes in Europe. Apparent national differences in using the show as an instrument for national-cultural representation can be explained by reducing its complexity to seven essential and interconnected ‘dimensions of meaning’.

Irving Wolther studied Applied Linguistics and Cultural Studies at Johannes-Gutenberg-Universität, Mainz, and Journalism at Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media. His PhD thesis titled Clash of cultures – the Eurovision Song Contest as a means of national-cultural representation made him one of the leading experts on the Eurovision Song Contest in Germany. He is now teaching at Hanover University of Music, Drama and Media. In 2009 he created ‘HÖREN! – Hannover Song Contest’ – a local adaptation of the Eurovision Song Contest entirely organized by students.