By Theodor W. Adorno
Fleeing the Nazis, Theodor W. Adorno lived in ny urban as a refugee from 1938 till 1941. in the course of those years, he was once intensively fascinated by a research of the way the lately built strategies for the nation-wide transmission of tune over radio have been remodeling the belief of song itself. This huge ranging radio study was once conceived as not anything lower than an research, partially empirical, of Walter Benjamin's speculative claims for the emancipatory capability of artwork within the age of its mechanical copy. the result of Adorno's undertaking set him decisively at odds with Benjamin's theses and even as turned the physique of pondering that shaped the root for Adornos personal aesthetics in his Philosophy of latest song. present of tune is the name that Adorno himself gave to this learn undertaking. For complicated purposes, even if, Adorno was once unable to carry the different millions of pages of this huge learn, so much of it written in English, to a last shape ahead of leaving ny for California, the place he may instantly start paintings with Max Horkheimer at the Dialectic of Enlightenment. Robert Hullot-Kentor, the prestigious Adorno pupil, reconstructed Adorno's undertaking for the Adorno Archive in Germany and offers a long and informative creation to the fragmentary texts accrued during this quantity. present of track might be greatly mentioned for the sunshine it throws at the improvement of Adorno's proposal, on his complicated dating with Walter Benjamin, yet so much of fascinated by the $64000 views it presents on questions of pop culture, the song of commercial leisure, the background of radio and the social dimensions of the copy of art. Read more...
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Additional resources for Current of music : elements of a radio theory
Reviewing the pedagogical achievements of Damrosch’s programme in the context of the reported demographics of national listening habits, even now it is easy to share spontaneously in the expectations widely sensed by many at the time that the interest in serious music produced by radio had led the masses of Americans to the verge of a cultural coming of age. In the words of Harper’s Monthly Magazine: ‘A sound and deep appreciation among the masses of our people is growing first in music and will draw after it, but more slowly, a love of the best in the other arts… .
Adorno cast this argument with Benjamin as a fundamental criticism of the Princeton Radio Research Project’s assumptions of the cultural and educative value of broadcast music. If the music could not be experienced, in what sense could it be said that ‘cultural treasures’ had been brought to the masses? If the music in every sense failed to arrive in anyone’s home in such a way that it could be heard for what it is, how could this music fulfil the educative and humanizing aim that was said to be its content?
It is a summary formulation of what Adorno undertook to demonstrate in the Princeton Radio Research Project but stated as radio’s antinomy. It expresses what radio must be and cannot be: the self-manifestation of its own content. No doubt the thesis, immediately coupled with its denial, bewildered his colleagues. The pragmatic Lazarsfeld would have thought Adorno ridiculous to present a plan and in the same breath dismiss its goal. Adorno could have helped his colleagues make sense of his thesis had he provided the reasoning of the conundrum.
Current of music : elements of a radio theory by Theodor W. Adorno