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Current of Music: Elements of a Radio Theory [Englisch] [Taschenbuch]

Theodor W. Adorno

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Kurzbeschreibung

23. Januar 2009
Fleeing the Nazis, Theodor W. Adorno lived in New York City as a refugee from 1938 until 1941. During these years, he was intensively involved in a study of how the recently developed techniques for the nation-wide transmission of music over radio were transforming the perception of music itself. This broad ranging radio research was conceived as nothing less than an investigation, partly empirical, of Walter Benjamins speculative claims for the emancipatory potential of art in the age of its mechanical reproduction. The results of Adornos project set him decisively at odds with Benjamins theses and at the same time became the body of thinking that formed the basis for Adornos own aesthetics in his Philosophy of New Music.
 
Current of Music is the title that Adorno himself gave to this research project. For complex reasons, however, Adorno was not able to bring the several thousands of pages of this massive study, most of it written in English, to a final form prior to leaving New York for California, where he would immediately begin work with Max Horkheimer on the Dialectic of Enlightenment. Robert Hullot-Kentor, the distinguished Adorno scholar, reconstructed Adornos project for the Adorno Archive in Germany and provides a lengthy and informative introduction to the fragmentary texts collected in this volume.
 
Current of Music will be widely discussed for the light it throws on the development of Adornos own thought, on his complex relationship with Walter Benjamin, but most of all for the important perspectives it provides on questions of popular culture, the music of industrial entertainment, the history of radio and the social dimensions of the reproduction of art.

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'Scrupulously reconstructed by Robert Hullot-Kentor, Adorno's bold and ambitious attempt to write a critical physiognomy of radio music is both a document of its time and provocation to ours.' Martin Jay, University of California, Berkeley

Synopsis

Fleeing the Nazis, Theodor W. Adorno lived in New York City as a refugee from 1938 until 1941. During these years, he was intensively involved in a study of how the recently developed techniques for the nation-wide transmission of music over radio were transforming the perception of music itself. This broad ranging radio research was conceived as nothing less than an investigation, partly empirical, of Walter Benjamins speculative claims for the emancipatory potential of art in the age of its mechanical reproduction. The results of Adornos project set him decisively at odds with Benjamins theses and at the same time became the body of thinking that formed the basis for Adornos own aesthetics in his Philosophy of New Music. "Current of Music" is the title that Adorno himself gave to this research project.For complex reasons, however, Adorno was not able to bring the several thousands of pages of this massive study, most of it written in English, to a final form prior to leaving New York for California, where he would immediately begin work with Max Horkheimer on the Dialectic of Enlightenment.

Robert Hullot-Kentor, the distinguished Adorno scholar, reconstructed Adornos project for the Adorno Archive in Germany and provides a lengthy and informative introduction to the fragmentary texts collected in this volume. "Current of Music" will be widely discussed for the light it throws on the development of Adornos own thought, on his complex relationship with Walter Benjamin, but most of all for the important perspectives it provides on questions of popular culture, the music of industrial entertainment, the history of radio and the social dimensions of the reproduction of art.


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2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Excellent Primary Source: Insights Still Valuable 10. Juni 2013
Von Edward G. Nilges - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format:Taschenbuch
I cannot recommend this collection too strongly.

It's a primary source for documents produced by Adorno not available elsewhere in English, and, the insights expressed are pure Teddy: refreshing and emperor has no clotheish to the max. Adorno unlike Lazarsfeld had real respect for the "Zoot Suiters" and hep cats of the 1940s who were viewed by Lazarsfeld and David Sarnoff (the CEO of RCA and sponsor of the RR Project) merely as customers to be exploited. Adorno sought their truth and was (despite his reputation) no elitist as such.

You may wonder why your class in "music appreciation" sucked: the great New York Yankees player, and aphoristic philosopher, Yogi Berra, said "I would like to go to college and study but I would not study music appreciation: I already like music". The reason why classical music appreciation classes often fail stems from the Princeton Radio Research and Lazarsfeld's departure, after Adorno was terminated, from Adorno's path.

Adorno had enough respect for the "ordinary" person to know that they could learn "sonata form", for example, all the way to coda and recapitulation. But with their OWN, unspoken issues of attention deficit, Lazarsfeld and Sarnoff felt that this was "too complicated" and could be reduced to being able to whistle a main theme...something that horrified Adorno and that the ordinary person knows is absurd.

Therefore today, "music appreciation" guarantees hatred of music. For Adorno, love of music starts with the kid in his bedroom listening to his parents play in a live string quartet downstairs. Elitism? Not at all compared to a view of people which denies them by default such an ability or interest, or if it is manifest, sets them, ultimately, to musical tasks such as playing for the concentration camp prisoners...something on a continuum that starts with Philistine reduction of people to ciphers and music to whistling Dixie.
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