Year: 2013 | Grade: 4

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Concert Band

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As cultural ambassador for the state, the Orchestra of the Rhineland-Pfalz State Police commissioned this work to celebrate the 60th anniversary of its founding in 2013. What do Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg and Johannes Gutenberg all have in common? They all represent a revolution in communication and information technology. Johannes Gutenberg, ‘man of the second millennium’, was born Johannes Gensfleisch in the German town of Mainz around 1400. He is regarded as the inventor of the printing press with movable type, which ushered in a media revolution – thanks to his invention, knowledge could for the first time find its way to every level of society. This work is an homage to the great man and the far-reaching impact of his invention that is still felt to this day. Johannes Gutenberg – the man of the second millennium.

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The wheel of time is turned back to the 15th century. It’s the year 1440 and we stand in the streets of Mainz. The Gutenberg home is a hive of industry. Ideas are developed, taken up and rejected again. Gutenberg’s eureka moment will change the world forever: Gutenberg invents printing with movable type. Some centuries later: Thanks to printed leaflets, a crowd of citizens answer a call to a fair at Hambach castle in the Palatinate (Pfalz). Locals and those from other German lands come together in an uprising here in 1832 against their oppression by church and aristocracy. The Hambach fair is considered the cradle of German democracy, in which Gutenberg’s invention certainly played its part. 180 years later: Printing presses are replaced, first by offset printing and then by digital print. Reproduction is now possible at tremendous speed. We are now in a restaurant in Mainz, where the kitchen is full of busy activity. Today’s residents are free and enjoy life. In printed matter nowadays words from the local dialect such as saumaache, dampfnudle and lewwerknäpp can be read. We are in the region in which Johannes Gutenberg lived and where he was inspired to invent his ‘invention of the millennium’. The Rhineland-Pfalz is characterised by castles along the Rhine – many of which are World Heritage Sites—wine and a diverse landscape. Johannes Gutenberg, a man from Mainz: his invention changed the world.

 

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