Music, Radio and the Public Sphere: The Aesthetics of by Charles Fairchild

By Charles Fairchild

Radio, the main accepted medium on the earth, is a dominant mediator of musical that means. via a mixture of severe research, interdisciplinary conception and ethnographic writing approximately group radio, this e-book presents a singular theorization of democratic aesthetics, with very important implications for the learn of outdated and new media alike.

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We do not exactly lack for breathless description and analysis of numerous forms of what we might call the discursively open musical practices proliferating on the magical, mystical internet. There does not seem to be any immediate end to the tireless fantasies spun around the apparently limitless power of music blogs, playlist swaps, mixtape sharing, sound clouds or musically recombinant organizational aesthetic schema like mashups, bastard pop or the conjunction of online ‘radio’ with social media.

As I show in chapters 2 and 3, contemporary commercial radio conglomerates construct their publics by participating in the enclosure of the arenas in which they operate in order to control them and, notionally at least, reduce any potential unpredictability in operations. Like any corporate entity, they are legally bound to make as much money as they possibly can (Bakan, 2004). To put it more daintily, they must maximize shareholder value to the greatest extent possible while minimizing any risk confronted in the process.

The forms of social connection that the internet fosters can be more fully understood if we view them in specific relation to those with a longer ancestry and more substantial pedigree, given that they remain the unacknowledged foundations upon which these new digital forms of socio-musical interrelation uncomfortably rest. This is not because community radio is somehow uniquely resistant to the depredations of forms of power hostile to its existence. Instead, as I show through numerous examples in this book, community radio has dealt with hostile power intent on preventing its existence.

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