Collaboration with Brecht
The new musical orientation that Hindemith found around 1930 also came to fruition before the backdrop of a political radicalisation of musical life that affected Hindemith himself in his collaboration with Bertolt Brecht. The collaboration between Hindemith and Brecht was rather more aesthetically motivated in 1929. Brecht developed the conception of the Lehrstück and the Lindbergh Flight, on the composition of which Kurt Weill also participated, from the consideration that «making music is better than hearing music.» Brecht was searching for forms of a «collective artistic exercise» that Hindemith had just developed at that time in his Gebrauchsmusik for amateurs to play for themselves. «Music-making» as an action contains, as Brecht believed in 1929, a «usefulness in and of itself» and «does not have to be orientated towards useful aims.»
But in 1930, after his definitive turn towards communism, Brecht now only accepted party-political «usefulness.» He now judged his collaboration with Hindemith as a «misunderstanding» and made a new version of his text to the Lehrstück; in this new version not set to music by Hindemith, the work is called «Badener Lehrstück vom Einverständnis» (Baden Didactic Piece of Concurrence) – and polemicises against Hindemith.
The open break between Hindemith and Brecht occurred during the preparation of the festival «Neue Musik Berlin 1930.» The programming committee of this festival, to which Hindemith belonged, rejected a performance of the party-politically motivated didactic piece ‹Die Maßnahme› (The Measure) by Eisler and Brecht for the following reason: «We do not consider it right to expand the task area of our event, which is essentially limited, in any respects besides musical ones.» Brecht and Eisler now accused the programming committee of political censorship. Hindemith was so disappointed in Brecht's behaviour that he now sought collaboration with a writer who was considered the antipode of Brecht – Gottfried Benn.