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Noise: The Political Economy of Music Paperback – Jun 30 1985


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 196 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Of Minnesota Press; 1 edition (June 30 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0816612870
  • ISBN-13: 978-0816612871
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.9 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #220,016 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on Dec 21 2000
Format: Paperback
... because it is so outrageous to be brilliantly thought provoking. Sometimes I think he is out to lunch and I am not confident that he understands everything he wrote. (or maybe the translation is not right.) Still, the mythology he presents is detailed and well developed and whether you agree with it or not, is fascinating.
There is a lot of coverage of European classical music in terms of "Who is paying whom" as well as the current recording industry. He also gets some things wrong, such as his coverage of Free Jazz (Carly Bley is black?), to which he nevertheless is sympathetic towards.
Therefore, I don't know how much you can trust his conclusions, but at the same time it gets the reader's mind to consider all sorts of new facets, and that is why this book is great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 15 1997
Format: Paperback
This is an essential work for anyone interested in the sociology of music. The author follows 2 significant threads of thought in this work; the commidification of music, and music as indicator (predictor) of social change. Using sophisiticated but well written theories and examples Attali demonstrates how music acts as
the subconsciousness of society, validating and testing new social and political realities.

Among the powerful analogies he draws is that of how modern people stockpile musical recordings, in some instances more than can possibly ever listen too, much in the same way nations stockpile weapons. In describing the
evolution of the orchestra he compares the conductor to the king conducting his flanks
of violins and horns with the same dictorial
presence of command as one would dispatch foot
soldiers and calvaries.

Attali clearly has a passion for music drawing
examples from Bach to improvisational jazz. In the end this is an optimistic book, illuminating indications of both social and musical evolution
during the 20th century.

D.L. Jonsson <Reviewer>
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Format: Paperback
The best demonstration of the misguided level of discourse in Noise is the simple fact that equally credible and completely opposite conclusions can be drawn from its premises and methods. Music anticipates later modes of existence? It anticipates the past of social relations. In the age of capitalism’s social birth, music looked back to the ordered age of absolutism; as industrialization proceeded apace, music looked to the already-vanishing phenomenon of the sui generis individual; when music finally caught up with industrialization, ca. Les Six and VarÃ'se, the seeds of post-industrial society had already been sown (as we now know; cf. Jeremy Rifkin’s comparative analysis of the Great Depression and contemporary political economy). And only now that the Cold War has ended do we finally hear in music the spiritual numbness so widely remarked as the general experience of the age of the Bomb..

Are these merely argumentative counter-perspectives to Attali’s? But Attali’s version of historical time also includes spenglerian “ages”â€"and these, too, are highly suspect. In an optimistic flourish, he concludes that we are entering the age of composition. This, however, at a time when the role hegemony of the composer is sharply fading vis a vis the performer. Even inheritors of the `classical’ tradition such as Glass and Reich have become hyphenated performer-composers, in a way that would have been unthinkable even for a Mahler or Stravinsky. The line between performance and composition has disappeared, but not in favour of a composed amalgam so much as performative experience. Even sexuality has given itself over to this agonistic model.
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Format: Paperback
This is simply one of the very best books I've ever read in my life. If you're interested in music, or maybe about, don't laugh, the meaning of life in general, this text is a total eye-opener. I just don't look at things the same way as I did before I read it. Very provocative and sophisticated, but very clearly written, needs 100% concentration on the subject and an open mind. Basically renders most of the traditional musicology and approach to music useless. Asks more questions than it answers, but hey, you'll gain new persepective. Rad
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