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Posted in: Musicologica 1/2012, Contemporary Music | Saturday May 12th, 2012, 10:01

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New Art

Abstract:

Listeners’ perceptions of music changed during World War II and the Cold War owing to the political conditions. Musical styles of the nineteenth and twentieth century were appreciated by listeners whereas other alternative modern styles (serialism, punctualism, sonorism, aleatoric music, dodecaphony, contemporary alternative improvised music…) seemed obscure. Modernism has not been publicly accepted but postmodernism which begins with minimal music, retro style, new simplicity, performance art, body art and conceptual art has been accepted. Sociological, aesthetical, philosophical and musical analyses are the foundation for complete understanding of music reception. Marketing is influential and has changed the listener’s perception in the twenty-first century from elite snobbism to cultural omniconsumption.

Die Perzeption des Zuhörers hat sich im Laufe des zweiten Weltkrieges und des kalten Krieges geändert genauso wie sich die politische Bedingungen und Funktionen geändert haben. Die musikalische Stile des 19. und 20. Jahrhundert waren on den Zuhörern anerkannt während die restliche alternative moderne Stile (Serialismus, Punktualismus, Sonorismus, aleatorische Musik, Dodekafonie, gegenwärtige alternative improvisierte Musik…) waren nur wenig bekannt und unbegreiflich für die Zuhörer.  Die Öffentlichkeit hat Modernismus nicht entgegengenommen, doch die Postmoderne, die fängt mit Minimal Musik an, nutzt Retro-Stile, neue Einfachheit, Performance-Art, Body-Art und Konzeptual-Art, war angenommen. Soziologische, ästhetische, philosophische und musikalische Analyse sind die Grundlage für das volle Verständnis der Rezeption und Perzeption der Musik. Marketing beeinflusst stark die Wahrnehmung des Zuhörers im 21. Jahrhundert und ändert diese von dem erstklasse Snobismus zur Kultur des Konsums.

Key words: , , , , , ,

Eric Satie said that the reality is the environment, and everything that a man wants to do is a solution.[1] This idea is illustrated in the following remark by the Slovak contemporary composer Daniel Matej (1963),[2] who studied with Louis Andriessen and is considered to be the Slovak John Cage:

 

People are more and more exposed to a pop culture, which does not disturb their ideas about the world in which they live. There is no need to question because instead pop culture offers them cheap gilt with fast solutions, and it convinces people with a pleasant feeling that everything is right and it cannot be different. People do not realize that through the gilt, their pop culture is convincing them of who they are. In reality what is happening is that pop culture is not shaping them, but pulling them to where it wants them to be. As a consequence, people are becoming more mechanical and a new type of music is neither disturbing nor does it have the power to move them. Certainly it brings up questions and ambiguities about the future of music. Personally, I was curious, as were many of my colleagues.  Students of composition are not interested in what is happening in contemporary music, they are interested in Shostakovich and Stravinsky.  They tend too much towards history. The essential element of curiosity is missing and only curiosity is the way to education and enlightenment; to know more, to realize the place for us on earth. Death starts when we stop questioning ourselves, a perfect metaphor to illustrate this imperial need for complete understanding.[3]

Clearly, questions, critiques and analyses are essential in order to establish clarity. What value does contemporary music have for our society? What is contemporary music? How can society understand the new trends in twentieth and twenty-first century music and how can it benefit? What kind of impact does the ‘new art’ have on society, groups and individuals?  In the last decades many movements tried to make contemporary music more visible and audible; however, there is still a huge gap between actual music and society in terms of establishing an understanding of music. How many decades do we have to wait to fill this gap? When will contemporary music be as publicly recognized as classical music? We are in the twenty-first century and we see the music of the nineteenth century as contemporary, suggesting more than a hundred years of confusion. What has happened in those years?  Musical styles of the nineteenth and the twentieth century (impressionism: Claude Debussy, neoclassicism: Igor Stravinsky…) were appreciated publicly whereas other alternative modern styles (serialism, punctualism, sonorism, aleatoric music, electroacoustic music, dodecaphony, concrete music, contemporary alternative improvised music…) seemed obscure. Perception of music in the twentieth and the twenty-first century has been different for the general public and academe. The postmodern style of Steve Reich and Philip Glass has been appreciated, whereas the modern style of Arnold Schoenberg has not been understood by contemporary audiences. For the general public, postmodernism which begins with minimal music, retro style, new simplicity, performance art, body art, conceptual art has been accepted as well as postmodernism in jazz which begins after 1969 (jazz rock, fusion music and nu jazz) and in new music starting in 1964 (Terry Riley: In C, 1964)[4] but modernism has not been publicly accepted. This situation is reversed in European academe where compositions of Schoenberg, aleatoric music, sonoristic music and other modern styles are considered as highly intellectual and valuable art, whereas postmodern music (minimal, retro, fusion music, nu-jazz…) has been rejected. Acceptance and rejection of musical styles is based not only on compositional approach but also on social networks. One such example is a workshop during the Melos-Étos 2005 Symposium in Bratislava, when German musicologists asked Steve Reich if he felt obsessed during his compositional process. His answer was that his music had nothing to do with Jean Sibelius, Arnold Schoenberg or Richard Wagner and he was trying to connect J. S. Bach with Miles Davis. Although German musicologists appreciated his charitable work in helping disabled people, they were convinced that the work of German composers was much better than his. On the other hand, Gruzian retro style composer Gija Kančeli, who is a good friend of Slovak modern composer Ilja Zeljenka, did not receive any comments or questions from German musicologists during the Melos-Étos 2007 Symposium.[5]

 

Sociological reasons for complete understanding of music

First of all, it is imperative to analyse music from a sociological perspective. Radio had a powerful function during World War II. The music was a tool for political leaders to spread their messages to “their” people massively, effectively and rapidly.

Hitler believed so strongly in the power of propaganda that he created a post in his new government for a Minister of Propaganda and National Enlightenment. Joseph Goebbels was the man appointed to the post. One of the first things that Goebbels established was the Reich Chamber of Culture. This new organization was established to deal with all aspects of culture. It was sub-divided into seven departments that dealt with literature, news, radio, theatre, music, visual arts, cinema, the media, the arts and literature. Each department issued instructions as to the themes and styles that were acceptable and unacceptable. In all areas, the only material that was allowed to be produced was that which promoted Nazi ideals.[6]

Similarly, the function of music had a political character during the Cold War. Behind the Iron Curtain, in an old world, composers and musicians could produce only the music that was acceptable for government purposes. Consequently, people listened to the music that was allowed and available (unless they were listening secretly to radio programmes such as Voice of America and others). Therefore, it is not surprising that Stravinsky’s and Shostakovich’s compositions were considered contemporary for many decades, even after the Cold War.  The ideology and political situation behind the Iron Curtain[7] in an old world meant people were limited to listening to  “politically correct” contemporary classical or popular music and rarely exposed to creative thinking and or postmodern music, which included minimal music, retro style, new simplicity, performance art, jazz …

Modernism in jazz continues and forms another stylistic feature of cool jazz, west coast jazz, third stream and hard bop until 1969. Development of jazz until the arrival of postmodernism in jazz (breakthrough presents jazz rock LP of Miles Davis: In A Silent Way, 1969, Bitches Brew, 1969-70) was happening very quickly and individual styles have been changing through the decades frequently in short period of time. Early jazz influences and also jazz modernism became inspirational for postmodernist personalities. The amazing playfulness of jazz, and the happiness and freedom of collective improvisation of early jazz, sharply contrasted with the tendencies of European music of the old continent in the twenties. While the Second Viennese School was achieving strict rationality, Louis Armstrong brought in the new expressional and rhythmic swing approach in Hot Five and Hot Seven (1925-27). Creating original elements in rhythm documents the transition from the syncopated rhythmic structure of New Orleans jazz to the polyrhythmic perception of time.[8]

As Daniel Matej said, people turned too much to history or they let themselves be taken by pop culture to where it wanted them to be.

Janet Wolff opposes the idea of analysing music from sociological perspectives which define music as an art with a special transcendent and autonomous quality.  An implication of this thought is that music has become too abstract, especially when it is compared with the literature, which is sociologically decoded. The danger of this perspective is that music is immune to the essential sociological analysis that it deserves.

I disagree with Janet Wolff,[9] because music has been analysed in the sociological field since early times, albeit nineteenth and early twentieth century musicology does not provide much documentation of this. It is somewhat questionable whether we can solely rely on early analysis as the sociological analysis that is applicable to today. We maintain, however, that early sociological analyses were adequate in their era because they were based on the relation between music and society. Therefore, regardless of the period, a reciprocal relationship between aesthetics and society is imperative. In fact, music was not autonomous and transcendent, as Wolff implies. In ancient Greece and Rome, for example, music was not only functional but was also used for chants, dithyrambs, etc.  Plato in The Republic (written around 380 BC)[10]  and Aristotle in The Politics[11]  analysed the effects of music with sociological, educational and political functions. Furthermore, the Roman Catholic Church indirectly analysed music to their advantage and to suit their needs, thus illustrating that music was not autonomous and immune to the practice and function of analysis.[12] More specifically, in the classical period, patrons dictated what kind of music should be performed, e.g. the minuet.  They did not analyse the music directly, but they gave a function to the music based on the social and political rules of society. With the first romantic philosophers, music was tied to ideas, and analysed by critics and journalists. The function of music and artists had changed again, but music was still socially relevant. Clearly, music cannot be immune to sociological exploration whether past or present; therefore I see no lack of sociological analysis. Also, sociology as we know it today was created in the nineteenth century (by Auguste Comte (1798-1857), continued by Kiesewetter’s Gesichte der europeisch oder unserer heutigen Musik[13] and Ambros’s Gesichte der Musik 1862, 1868). Thus, none of the philosophers, theoreticians, historians, writers, aestheticians, and patrons who have analysed music can be ignored in current sociological study. There is therefore continuity in analysis.

Sociological studies of music comprise what Janet Wolff calls “Institutional analysis, audience research or social history”.[14] Particularly in the United States, sociological studies include studies of the internal relations of opera companies, symphony orchestra conducting as a profession, and patronage of music. According to Janet Wolff, the most serious weakness in traditional sociological study is the fact that music, popular and classical, has not been analysed in terms of its ideological nature, which means that the “text” of the music, the music itself, has not been ideologically analysed.

If music were not analysed for its ideological content, national schools and national composers would not exist. National composers such as Bartok, Wagner, Smetana and Chopin created music of an ideological nature. Thus, the music was analysed in an ideological way. The implication of Janet Wolf’s critique is that music can be ideological as well as autonomous. Realistically then, it depends on one’s interpretation or preference. Many conservatively oriented musicologists try to assess the sociological aspects of music development, especially in Europe: for example, Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno in Einleitung in die Musiksoziologie  (1975),[15] Ivan Poledňák in K problému smyslu hudby a funkcí hudby [The problem of the meaning of music and function of music], Alphons Silbermann in Wovon lebt die Musik, and Sáva Šabouk in Jazyk umění [Language of art]. These theories appear today in Rastislav Podpera’s work Podpera, Rastislav: Quo vadis musica : premeny sociálnych funkcií hudby [Changes in Social Functions of Music].[16]

Carl Dahlhaus’s Hudobné dielo ako predmet sociológie [Composition as a subject of sociology, Das musikalische Kunstwerk als Gegenstand der Soziologie] (1974)[17] examines:

1. The social conditions of composition

2. The history of composition’s influence (reception)

3. Functions of composition

4. Institutions, which were examining the composition

The most pressing concern is that sociological studies, particularly those of the United States, have a certain weakness. They have taken another direction, mainly influenced by the different direction of music. The United States opened the door to electro acoustic music with John Cage’s Imaginary Landscapes No.1, the first taped music called Williams Mix (1952), Morton Feldman, and Earl Brown.  Much of it was experimental pop, heavy metal, punk rock and therapy music that piqued the interest of teenagers in a hippie subculture. This direction was influenced by the prevailing conditions of society: the Vietnam War, increased unemployment, economic problems and unresolved religious conflicts.  They were essentially questions about the essence of the meaning of life. That is why sociological studies in the USA were interpreted more as musical psychology and analysed by clinical experimental schools rather than being treated as musicology (Gaston 1968, Carl Emil Seashore), sociology (Robert Gross, Lawrence Grossberg), musical physiology (E. G. Wever) and neurology (H.W. Magoun). Musicology in the United States was geared towards research, which was outside the musicological focus, as seen in the studies of Hibbard, Palisca, and Wellek. The “text” of music had not been omitted but analyzed before Janet Wolff’s essay was published.  C. Pratt in the 1940s perpetuated Hanslick’s ideas, and Susane Langers in the fifties and sixties claimed that symbols in music were the result of the composer’s creativity. Tibor Kneif and Peter Faltin in the 1970s analysed music for sound which was not associated with the response, feelings and experiences of the listener. Sociological analysis still did not prevent people from selecting classical music in preference to contemporary, however.

Social changes in Romanticism changed the function of the artist and the audience. For the first time in history concerts were public and all classes of society were exposed to contemporary art. Artists became more independent than they were in the classical era when they were ruled by a patron. Thus, in the Romantic period they could express themselves more freely in their works. The dissolution of the bond between artist and patron brought to the Romantic notion greater independence.

Yet was this image of the artist as detached from society, working in total freedom from external pressures, realistic? How about artists today?

Theoreticians claim that art is always ideological, not in the sense of a political message but in the sense of meaning. This meaning is never fixed, although there is a reciprocal relationship in which art reflects the social reality. A specific example is the depiction in music, literature, and fine art of women in a patriarchal culture as subservient. The interpretation might still be different, however, because the interpreter of art describes and makes connections through his or her own perspectives and experience. Theoreticians also argue that music has a non-representational character because it does not reflect bourgeois character, gender relations, or political conflicts.  At times, though, music does transcend society and culture in the same way as literature, film, and paintings do.  Examples are abstract painting and the post-modern dance.  Both have a storyline and meaning, but abstract music is identified in a particular social-political-historical moment and is not to be considered as social-political-historical art.

 

Aesthetical, philosophical and musical factors leading to complete understanding of music

Further exploration is necessary to ponder the existence of non-representational, non-ideological, abstract music or so called absolute music, alternative, experimental improvisational music, which presents a form of new art with roots in absolute music.[18]

What is the definition of absolute music? It has more than one, in fact. According to the generally accepted definition, which McClary[19] also uses in her essays, absolute music is music on the basis of pure configuration, untainted by words, stories, or even effects. This concept appeared for the first time in the nineteenth century for the purpose of distinguishing autonomous instrumental music from opera, song and programmatic music. In my opinion, it is unfair to call only instrumental music absolute, because already in the nineteenth century the word absolute had a wider meaning than this concept allows.  As a consequence, I believe that this concept degrades programmatic music.

There are many concepts of absolute music, provided by E. Hanslick, C. Dahlhaus and E.T.A. Hofmann, to name but three.  Eduard Hanslick contributes to the promotion of absolute music with his work On the Musically Beautiful,[20] in which the autonomous concept of instrumental music is transferred from the conservative nationalistic context to the objectivity of music. Furthermore, he claims that music represents its own ideas, which are beautiful by themselves, and that music does not represent feeling or thought. Carl Dahlhaus in Musik und Verstehen[21] claims that some instrumental music is self-contained, and that it is not related to social or other referential meanings but rather to metaphysical concepts, which are contained in the performance or dynamics and their statistical explanation.  E.T.A. Hofmann promotes the idea of music as a transcendent experience of mystical union that expresses the infinite.  He stresses that the idea is not a result of the composer’s thought but that of intuition.  To this idea, M. Graf adds the element of subconsciousness.  This explains why we cannot analyse every piece, and it also explains why some of the measures of music make no sense to theoreticians and historians but make perfect sense to the composers and their listeners. It is probable that this is the result of pure and genuine intuition in terms of the composer’s intention to follow an idea rather than to follow the structure of the form. Therefore, Shenkerian’s methods apply widely to musical analysis but seem to be inadequate for music itself.

Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht, Josef Burjanek, Jozef Kresánek, Jacques Chailley, Josef Hutter and Hans Besseler as well as McClary build on Hanslick’s concept of musical thinking but the difference is that she prefers to treat it as a social critique because, in her opinion, absolute music articulates the same ideas that dominate social beliefs and tensions. [22]  These would be cultural artefacts of the nineteenth century.  McClary claims that music should not be valued solely for its narrative conventions but also in relation to the historical moment.  In addition, particular strategies should be taken into account so there will be no misunderstanding when a composer does not follow conventional expectations and formats, especially those that are often based on patriarchal factors in sonata procedure and tonality.

As regards music in the twentieth century, many composers completely avoided the traditional and discovered new ways of creating music. Compositions began to involve original techniques and unmusical instruments whereby even the audience became part of the music, as is the case with works by Cage, Varese and Boulez. The result was that an identity crisis in contemporary music became more visible when composers started amalgamating the old with the new.  This challenges the status quo of twentieth and twenty-first century music. Schoenberg was the last to develop a romantic phase and moved into atonality. Paris 6 formed a new idea: to simplify old forms, which means that the ideal suite was based on J. F. Rameau’s suites and the ideal sonata was based on Haydn’s sonatas. They formed the idea of diminishing emotional exaggeration and establishing the idea of equality between emotions and rationality.  Their inspiration was Eric Satie. Obviously, composers have many models and ideals to follow. There are value questions when a piece is copied in the way that Haydn’s sonata principles were, even though they are rewritten in a new form.  Is it authentically new? Is it valuable?  Or is it simply refreshing and consequently enlightening?  There have been many instances of composers creating something new.  Another example is Stravinsky’s ballet The Fairy’s Kiss.  The historical belief is that the ballet was composed under Tchaikovsky’s influence.  In reality, however, Stravinsky used little of Tchaikovsky’s instrumental music and the model was Andersen’s fairytales.  Also, in the ballet Pulcinella Stravinsky used Pergolesi’s melody.  Influences and reused melodies are respectively borrowed, transformed and reinvented.  Many composers influenced each other even by modifying variety of artistic realms and venues from literature, art, music, architecture, etc.  Thus they developed their own originality and uniqueness.  We should also remember that even composers such as Mozart, through the usage of models, he too became unique and original.[23]

In jazz, there have been many movements which were tied to a pre-existing music of different cultures and religions. Free jazz and avant-garde musicians such as saxophonists Ornette Coleman and Wayne Shorter,[24] pianist Cecil Taylor, trumpeter Don Cherry, multi-instrumentalist Anthony Braxton, and the composer/bandleader and pianist Sun Ra have developed new structures of compositions incorporating world music, returning to the roots of jazz and implementing religion and “cosmic philosophy”. Saxophonist John Coltrane is known for creating unconventional sounds from his instrument through a harsh overblowing technique. These unconventional sounds are not common in Western music (although Ferenc Liszt and Hector Berlioz used them in their compositions:  “Gypsy’s” – Rom’s music which originated in India), but they are well known in Indian music as microtones. Rhythmically, free jazz swings without regular metre, using frequent accelerandos and ritardandos. This type of pulsation might evoke Frederick Chopin’s Tempo Rubato, but the main influence of such rhythm moving in waves is Rom’s music. New compositional techniques using untraditional musical components, reduction of the melody to a few notes in extended tonality, use of untypical rhythmic structure not continued in time and abstract harmonic movements create a gap between the listener and the art. For large audiences free jazz and avant-garde jazz represent more abstract music, which is difficult to understand, but perhaps through music globalizations, where “East meets West”, and with the use of media, listeners will be able to appreciate such jazz styles. From the infancy of music there have been two main streams of musicians/composers: those who wanted to create something new (J.S. Bach, Ornette Coleman…) but were not appreciated by their contemporaries and those who wanted to please the audience through evoking happiness and sorrow but not necessarily creating a new style of music (Frederick Chopin, Diana Krall…) unless we consider music influenced by pre-existing styles as new (third stream, crossover jazz). From this perspective, we can say that the first stream will always create a gap between a listener and the art and the second stream will perfectly fill this gap.  Jazz pianist and singer Diana Krall has consequently developed swing tradition in a new unconventional style.

McClary argues that not only individual musical signs such as the word painting of certain emotions or situations but also formal conventions of instrumental music are socially encoded: feelings of joy, grief, the heroic, etc.  McClary also addresses the same issues in relation to gender and race and claims that this signification of music extends far beyond the surface in instrumental music, that it is embedded in its formal conventions.  Stewart Hall[25] believes that form is much more important than content.  In support, Arnold Schoenberg recognizes that there are certain absolutist political implications in music. He expands the dynamic tension of other keys into a different concept called dodecaphony. A.B. Marx also developed and modified music. He claimed that the convention of designating themes as masculine and feminine is recognized in opera or tone poems within musical narratives.

Within Hanslick’s absolute music are aspects of Descartes’s philosophy about music.  In fact, compared with the ancients, especially Plato, Descartes did not stray far from the Hellenic ideas about music.  Descartes simply transposed them into terms that would satisfy a modern society. And so “the result was that passions were rationalized; they became, literally, ‘objects’”.[26] Contradicting emotions such as love and hate, joy and sadness, and desire were defined in his Passions of the Soul, and were translated into music as intervals, figures, increasing or descending scales and chords, which were more alike.  They were also representative of antipathy and its dissonant sound.  Descartes also extended the definition of affections and therefore he became the father of the medical materialism of the eighteenth century. He was also very influential in the psychology of the seventeenth century.

Descartes was the first to use the basic principle of mechanical determinism. He defined the affect theory of passions and emotions as a reflexive reaction to the object known as the outside world.  That is why, as Descartes says in paragraph 28 of Passions of the Soul, experience shows that those who are the most excited by their passions are not those who know them best.  Passion is a natural reaction and not a rational analysis. In paragraph 46, he elaborates that passions remain present in our thought in the same manner as sensible objects that are presented to us in thought during the time they act on our senses.  He extends the concept of human consciousness to six passions: wonder, love, hatred, desire, joy, and sadness.  At this point, Descartes’s definitions are controversial.  First of all, he defines one of these six passions, joy, as an emotion which comes to the soul by the action of the soul alone.  It means that it is once again a reaction to an object.  Another passion, love, is an emotion of the soul caused by the movement of the spirit, which incites it to join itself willingly to objects that appear to it to be agreeable.  This is more of an emotional than a rational response.  Ironically, he also agrees natural control is used as a guide for the avoidance of evil and for the experience of joy.  The implication is that he believes that the master could be only an individual who can control his own passions, good and bad, when in fact, they arrive naturally.  It is true that control of passions and emotions enables one to understand affections better.  But can one genuinely enjoy a joy, love the love and feel discomfort in sadness, for example, if passions are completely controlled?

I suggest that music would be more mature if philosophers and theorists focused more on society and their knowledge about passions rather than defining what people should do and how they should react.  If one knows what passions are about one does not have to control them.  Instead, people need to be conscious of their passions and let them be experienced in a natural and consequently more genuine way.  This knowledge is very important, which is why Descartes’s work is so great.  Yet it is also important to acknowledge and find a balance of emotions that flow naturally.  Descartes thought that complexity was in control and so he tried to do the impossible.  He attempted to characterize the world of affection and apply it to the total complexity of a man, although in terms of development and quality a man is just a historical product of society.  Descartes, then, did not develop the old theory nor did he did find a new one because of the natural development of society.  Still, it is extremely admirable that he came up with these ideas and refreshed them in a new way that was more rationalized.  As a consequence, he influenced composers of later periods who developed other new elements related to his theories.  Descartes’s ideology and methodology are based on illusion, which is subjective because, as we know from later music periods, emotions can be expressed in many other ways. Descartes’s rationalism and his subjectivity provided the basis for the ideal of developing a complex human being.   His definition of affections was very new and the result of a reaction to changes in society, which slowly emerged from a feudalistic to a bourgeois society.

Marketing reason of complete (mis)understanding of music

Sociology and music are constantly analysed, artists have their patrons, cultural institutions and music schools are emerging but the connection between society and contemporary music is still lacking.  The older generation seldom recognizes composers of neoclassicism: I. Stravinsky, P. Hindemith,  expressionism: A. Schoenberg, A. Webern, A. Berg, chance music: J. Cage, serialism: M. Babbit, K. Stockhausen, P. Boulez, minimalistic music: T. Riley, S. Reich, P. Glass, J. Adams, electronic music: G. Crumb, mixed media: E. Varese, G. Crumb, musical quotation: E. T. Zwillich, G. Rochberg, and microtone: K. Penderecki, E. Carter, experimental music: H. Skempton, L.V. Vierk, G. Klucevska, A. Piazolla.  Without a teacher’s interpretation, students of today are rarely familiar with contemporary compositions (Nancy Telfer, Stephen Chatman, etc.).

Today’s pop culture and its manipulation of media have an immediate connection with millions of people who watch shows such as The X-Factor, Canadian Idol, American Idol, Dancing with the Stars, So You Think You Can Dance, Britain’s Got Talent and America’s Got Talent.  Millions of people have access to the internet and use YouTube and iPods on a daily basis.  Virtually, within a day, people across the entire world recognized Susan Boyle.  Instances such as this lead to a very important question: is music of the twentieth and the twenty-first century solely dependent on a great performance?  Questions need to be considered and research needs to be done in relation to these modern phenomena.

Music, its services and products (concert, CD, DVD, film) cannot exist without services of a well-developed  managerial firm which enters into marketing relationships. For that matter, many unclear individual artistic concepts appeared in the twentieth century emphasizing the individuality of the artistic performance (“be yourself”, “you are unique”). Differentiation caused public segmentation among subcultures, originally developed from stylistic identification of the artist.

The power of musical culture is connected with musical environments of different areas of the music industry that are sufficiently developed. In the second half of the twentieth century, economic and political potential of the American music industry determined its hegemony for many years in jazz, rock and popular music, which demonstrates one of the factors differentiating culture, globally and locally, through the Americanization or Westernization of the musical culture.[27]

Inevitably, research would bring about a better understanding of individuals, their motivations and their interrelated connection with society as a whole.  A more in-depth analysis of the relationship between the performer, society and contemporary art would diminish the identity crisis in contemporary music and alleviate ambiguities of social implications within music of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. To today’s listener there is no difference between jazz, rock and classical music.

In Peterson’s critical cultural stratification (1992), the demanding and exclusive elite of society were placed at the top and the undifferentiated mass at the bottom. He discovered that the upper class support symphonic music, inter alia. Also, they are interested in activities connected with elite art and large-scale non-elite activities: they are “omnivores”, which makes them more tolerant and less snobby. At the same time, people in lower professional groups are engaged in fewer activities and support one non-elite type of music: they are “univores”. This is a shift from the hierarchy of the elite mass to the hierarchy of all, known as consumption-distinctiveness. The concept became very influential in cultural sociology. Later, Peterson formulated factors which contributed to the change in taste from elite snobbism to cultural omniconsumption (1996). [28]

Marketing causes incomprehension of music’s complexity. The autonomy of the artist is influenced by the ideas of philosophers and writers, which gives another direction to the art but not total freedom to the artist, whose freedom is relative. The number of potential patrons is increasing, owing to the prevalence of dealers, critics, and publishing houses and especially the influence of technologies such as television, radio, LPs, CDs, audio and videocassettes, DVDs, the Internet, etc.  These media influences affect the world as never before and so the relatively independent artist is again dependent on the patron. They have complete control over who can sell his or her music to organizations such as Universal Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment, Warner Music Group, EMI, RCA, Philips, Columbia, etc. Also, oligopoly presents a type of manipulation of the artist and the audience (the customer) as a monopoly type of imperfect competition in communist countries, where only one publisher and one agency act for the whole market in small-scale, national, state-wide activity.[29]   In spite of this lack of autonomy, artists do have the option to free themselves from society by choosing to be isolated. Yet their isolation from the world costs them their financial stability and their connection with the community.

Patrons and organizations confer benefits in terms of creating a bridge between the free floating artist and a new “patron” by initiating the development of cultural institutions and music schools that make music more social than ever. Yet, if music is more social, does it imply that art is always ideological?

Notes

  1. Alan M. Gillmor, Erik Satie, Twayne Pub., 1988, reissued 1992. ISBN 0-393-30810-3 Free paraphrase.
  2. http://www.hc.sk/src/skladatel.php?lg=sk&oid=40; Yvetta Kajanová, Postmoderna v hudbe. Minimal, rock, pop,   jazz [Postmodernism in Music. Minimal music, Rock, Pop, Jazz], Bratislava, VUK, 2010, pp. 160 – 162.
  3. Zuzana Balazsházyová – Ben Lassoued, Odpad je dnes moderný III [The Trash Is Modern Today: Interview with Daniel Matej], in: Dotyky  [Touches], vol. 9 (1997), no. 9/10, p. 12-14.
  4. Yvetta Kajanová, Postmoderna v hudbe. Minimal, rock, pop, jazz [Postmodernism in Music. Minimal music, Rock, Pop, Jazz], Bratislava, VUK, 2010, pp. 11-43.
  5. Yvetta Kajanová, In the Beginning There Was Pop Music: How to Express Maximum by Means of Minimal Music, Od Perotina po Steva Reicha: idey “minimálneho” v hudobných dejinách a v súčasnosti [Von Perotin bis Steve Reich: Die Ideen des „Minimalen“ in der Musikgeschichte und Gegenwart], (editor Naďa Hrčková), Bratislava, Hudobné centrum, 2005, pp. 181-187.
  6. History on the Net. Com. http://www.historyonthenet.com/Nazi_Germany/propaganda.htm
  7. Gertrud Pickhan / Rüdiger Ritter (editors), Jazz behind the Iron Curtain (Jazz under State Socialism, vol. 1), Peter Lang, Berlin, 2009.
  8. Yvetta Kajanová, Postmoderna v hudbe. Minimal, rock, pop, jazz [Postmodernism in Music. Minimal music, Rock, Pop, Jazz], Bratislava, VUK, 2010, pp. 23-24.
  9. Janet Wolff, The Ideology of Autonomous Art, in: Music and Society: The Politics of Composition, Performance and Reception, eds. Richard Leppert and Susan McClary, Cambridge University Press, 1987,  pp. 1-12.
  10. Tom Griffith, Plato: The Republic, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2000.
  11. Carnes Lord, The Politics, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1984.
  12. Jozef Kresánek, Sociálna funkcia hudby [Social function of music], Bratislava, SAV, 1961; Yvetta Kajanová, Miesto nonartificiálnych žánrov v systéme sociálnych funkcií hudby u Jozefa Kresánka [The place of non-artificial genres in a system of social functions in music in Jozef Kresánek’s work], in: Slovenská hudba [Slovak music] vol. 30 ( 2004), nos. 1-2, pp. 74-78.
  13. Raphael Georg Kiesewetter, Geschichte der europaeisch-abendlaendischen oder unserer heutigen Musik, Leipzig, Breitkopf und Haertel, 1846.
  14. Janet Wolff, The Ideology of Autonomous Art, in: Music and Society: The Politics of Composition, Performance and Reception, (eds. Richard Leppert and Susan McClary), 1987, Cambridge University Press, pp. 1-12.
  15. Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno, Einleitung in die Musiksoziologie. Zwölf theoretische Vorlesungen, Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt a. M. 1975.
  16. Ivan Poledňák, K problému smyslu hudby a funkcí hudby [To the problem of meaning of the music and function of the music], in: Opus musicum, vol. 6  (1974), no. 4, pp. 97-104; Alphons Silbermann, Wovon lebt die Musik, Regensburg, 1957; Sáva Šabouk, Jazyk umění, Praha, 1969;  Rastislav Podpera, Quo vadis musica: premeny sociálnych funkcií hudby  [Changes in Social Functions of Music], Bratislava, Veda, 2006.
  17. Carl Dahlhaus, Hudobné dielo ako predmet sociológie [Das musikalische Kunstwerk als Gegenstand der Soziologie], in: International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music (Zagreb), vol. 5 (1974), No.1, pp. 11-26.
  18. Július Fujak, Komprovizácia – na margo diskusie o opodstatnenosti termínu [Comprovisation – Marginal Notes to Discussion about Legitimation of Terms], in: Musicologica, 2011, no.1, http://www.musicologica.eu/?p=226
  19. Susan McClary, Narrative Agendas in ‘Absolute’ Music: Identity and Difference in Brahms’s Third Symphony, in: Musicology and Difference: Gender and Sexuality in Music Scholarship, (ed. Roth A. Solie), 1993, pp. 326-344.
  20. Eduard Hanslick, On the Musically Beautiful, trans. Geoffrey Payzant, Indianapolis, Hackett, 1986.
  21. Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht,  Musikalische Denken, Aufsätze zur Theorie  und Asthetik der Musik, Wilhelmshaven, l977; Josef Burjanek,  Hudební myšlení, dvě studie k psychologii a  estetice problému [Musical thinking, two studies to the psychology and aesthetics], Brno – Praha, l970; Jozef Kresánek, Základy hudobného myslenia [Foundation of musical thinking], Opus, Bratislava, l977; Jacques Chailley, 40 000 let hudby [40 000 years of music], Praha, l965; Josef Hutter,  Hudební myšlení, Od pravýkřiku k vícehlasu [Musical thinking, from the real screaming to multiple voices], Praha,  l943; Hans Besseler, Aufsätze zur Musikästhetik und Musikgeschichte,  Leipzig, l978.
  22. Wayne Shorter Quartet – Joy Rider.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkewiFES7vI, Jazz á Vienne 2010.
  23. Zuzana Balazsházyová-Ben Lassoued, Odhaľovanie hodnotovej relatívnosti VEČEROV NOVEJ HUDBY, [Discovering the relative value of the NIGHTS OF NEW MUSIC], In: Hudobný  život  [Music life], vol. 29, No.15, 1997, p. 6.
  24. Hall, Stuart, Cultural Studies: Two Paradigms, in: Media, Culture, and Society 2, 1980.
  25. Weiss, Piero and Richard Taruskin, Music in the western world: A history in documents, Schirmer Books, A Division of Macmillan, Inc., New York, 1984, p. 212.
  26. Yvetta Kajanová, Postmoderna v hudbe. Minimal, rock, pop, jazz [Postmodernism in Music. Minimal music, Rock, Pop, Jazz], Bratislava, VUK, 2010, pp. 8, 184.
  27. Peterson, Richard A., Understanding audience segmentation: From elite and mass to omnivore and univore, in: Poetics, vol. 21, University of Chicago Press, pp. 243-258, 1997;  Peterson, Richard A. – Simkus, Albert, How Musical Taste Groups Mark Occupational Status Groups, in: Lamont, M. – Fournier, M (eds.): Cultivating Differences : Symbolic Boundaries and the Making  of Inequality, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1992, pp. 152-168.
  28. Iveta Betsa, Popularita ako fenomén hudobného umenia [Popularity as a phenomenon of musical art], Ústav hudobnej vedy Slovenskej akadémie vied, Bratislava, 2007.
  29. Das Verstehen von Musik und die Sprache der musikalischen Analyse, in: Musik und Verstehen. Aufsätze zur semiotischen Theorie, Ästhetik und Soziologie der musikalischen Rezeption. (Hg. Von Peter Faltin und Hans-Peter Reinecke), Volk, Köln, 1973.

Bibliography

Adorno, Theodor Wiesengrund, Einleitung in die Musiksoziologie. Zwölf  theoretische Vorlesungen, Suhrkamp Verlag, Frankfurt a.M., 1975.

Balazsházyová-Ben Lassoued, Zuzana, Odhaľovanie hodnotovej relatívnosti VEČEROV NOVEJ HUDBY[Discovering the relative value of the NIGHTS OF NEW MUSIC], In: Hudobný  život  [Music life], vol. 29, No.15, 1997, p. 6.

Balazsházyová-Ben Lassoued, Zuzana, Odpad je dnes moderný III [The Trash Is Modern Today: Interview with Daniel Matej],” in: Dotyky  [Touches], vol. 9 (1997), No.9/10, pp. 12 – 14.

Besseler, Hans, Aufsätze zur Musikästhetik und Musikgeschichte, Leipzig, l978.

Betsa, Iveta, Popularita ako fenomén hudobného umenia [Popularity as a phenomenon of musical art], Ústav hudobnej vedy Slovenskej akadémie vied, Bratislava, 2007.

Burjanek, Josef, Hudební myšlení, dvě studie k psychologii a  estetice problému, [Musical thinking, two studies of psychology and aesthetics], Brno – Praha, l970.

Chailley, Jacques, 40 000 let hudby [40 000 years of music], Praha, l965.

Dahlhaus, Carl, Hudobné dielo ako predmet sociológie [Das musikalische Kunstwerk als Gegenstand der Soziologie], in: International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music (Zagreb), vol. 5 (1974), no.1, pp. 11-26.

Eggebrecht, Hans Heinrich, Musikalische Denken, Aufsätze zur Theorie  und Ästhetik der

Musik, Wilhelmshaven, l977.

Gillmor, Alan M., Erik Satie, Twayne Pub., 1988, reissued 1992.

Griffith, Tom, Plato: The Republic, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge,  2000.

Hall, Stuart, Cultural Studies: Two Paradigms, in: Media, Culture, and Society 2, 1980.

Hanslick, Eduard, On the Musically Beautiful, trans. Geoffrey Payzant, Indianapolis, Hackett, 1986.

History on the Net. Com. http://www.historyonthenet.com/Nazi_Germany/propaganda.htm

Hutter, Josef, Hudební myšlení, Od pravýkřiku k vícehlasu [Musical thinking, from the real screaming to multiple voices], Praha, l943.

Kajanová, Yvetta: In the Beginning There Was Pop Music: How to Express Maximum by Means of Minimal Music, in: Od Perotina po Steva Reicha: idey “minimálneho” v hudobných dejinách a v súčasnosti [Von Perotin bis Steve Reich: Die Ideen des „Minimalen“ in der Musikgeschichte und Gegenwart], (editor Naďa Hrčková), Hudobné centrum, Bratislava, 2005, pp. 181-187.

Kajanová, Yvetta, Postmoderna v hudbe. Minimal, rock, pop, jazz [Postmodernism in Music. Minimal music, Rock, Pop, Jazz], VUK, Bratislava, 2010.

Kresánek, Jozef, Základy hudobného myslenia [Foundation of musical thinking], Opus, Bratislava, l977.

Lord, Carnes, The Politics, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1984.

McClary, Susan, Narrative Agendas in ‘Absolute’ Music: Identity and Difference in Brahms’s Third Symphony, in: Musicology and Difference: Gender and Sexuality in Music Scholarship, (ed. Roth A. Solie), 1993, pp. 326-344.

Peterson, Richard A., Understanding audience segmentation: From elite and mass to omnivore and univore, in: Poetics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 21 (1997), pp. 243-258.

Peterson, Richard A. – Simkus, Albert, How Musical Taste Groups Mark Occupational Status Groups, in: Lamont, M. – Fournier, M (eds.), Cultivating Differences: Symbolic Boundaries and the Making of Inequality, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1992, pp. 152-168.

Pickhan, Gertrud / Ritter, Rüdiger (editors), Jazz behind the Iron Curtain (Jazz under State Socialism, vol. 1), Peter Lang, Berlin, 2009.

Podpera, Rastislav, Quo vadis musica: premeny sociálnych funkcií hudby [Changes in Social Functions of Music], Veda, Bratislava, 2006.

Poledňák, Ivan, K problému smyslu hudby a funkcí hudby [The problem of the meaning of the music and the function of the music], in: Opus musicum, vol. 6 (1974), no. 4, pp. 97-104.

Šabouk, Sáva, Jazyk umění [Language of the art], Praha, 1969.

Silbermann, Alphons, Wovon lebt die Musik, Regensburg, 1957.

Wayne Shorter Quartet – Joy Rider.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkewiFES7vI, Jazz á Vienne 2010.

Weiss, Piero and Richard Taruskin, Music in the western world: A history in documents, Schirmer Books, A Division of Macmillan, Inc., New York, 1984, pp. 6-12.

Wolff, Janet, The Ideology of Autonomous Art, in: Music and Society: The Politics of Composition, and Reception, eds. Richard Leppert and Susan McClary, Cambridge University Press , pp. 1-12.