Listening – Sacrificing – Representing – Repeating – Composing – The politics of silence and sound, by Susan McClary. Noise has ratings and 38 reviews. Ben said: In sum, the history of music should be rewritten as a political effort to channel violence through noise. Argues that music does not reflect society; it foreshadows new social formations. Noise. The Political Economy of Music. •. Author: Jacques Attali.

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Attali’s purpose in tracing this history is economic and prophetic. Individuals refrain from violence and allow the state to engage in violence for us. Noise is a model of tatali historiography. Because the production of music requires no labor, humanity can mold it infinitely almost as soon as it imagines some new political possibility. As another technology breaks the existing order – the phonograph – and the move into the Repetition network stage, the musicians and publishers were upset at not being paid for recordings taken of performances, noose from here the need for mechanical copyright arises.

There must be a scapegoat a sacrificial victim toward whom we channel the violence that we sacrifice. Basically renders most of the traditional musicology and approach to music useless. Aug 16, Tiny Pants rated it liked it Shelves: His intention here was not only to theorize about music, but also to theorize through music, making some unusual and unacceptable conclusions about music and society, the past and the future.

In the nineteenth century alone, the divergent musical forms distributed over both high and low cultures would require a tome of considerable length, but Attali glosses over this and not only includes the one century but the entire history of music. But it does not create wealth. It’s a bit convoluted at times, but does have a lot of interesting politial digressions, like about the history of copyright law in France yes, I’m a nerd. Attali’s survey of the relationship between music and capital has been barrel aged for 35 years but still maintains its sharp opening notes of Nietzsche followed by the rich, oakey, flavors of Foucault with a smooth, leathery, Marxist finish.

Others should read Noise because we are all affected by music: It is too bad, because there is a lot of value in this text, but its language is holding it back from reaching a wider audience, which is sort of ironic since Attali urges renewed study and composition of music by non-specialists.


The consumer buys it with time and then expends additional time in listening use-time. This music accompanies the ritual sacrifice pictured in the detail shown just above. Underneath, of course, the “sacrificial” aspect of music also went on: In other words, music stands in contrast to all of those natural forces that threaten man and his cultural heritage.

It’s a bit convoluted at times, but does have a lot of interesting historical digres I read this for class. I have used it to enhance my reading of many texts, both fiction and non-fiction.

Noise — University of Minnesota Press

The novelty of Attali’s work is that it reverses the traditional understandings about how revolutions in the mode of production take place:. As political events, the American Revolution and then the French Revolution follow the demand for liberation of composers.

He means organization of the most general sort: The ideas in the book are not very complex, so they do not necessarily require such awkward phrasing. But no one who carefully reads and ponders this books will, I think, deny that he offers us a great deal of enlightenment on the essential connections between music and society.

We must remember that he was writing in the s; what he would have to say about the situation two decades later, and especially about the possible effects of personal computers and the Internet on music, is hard to tell. Setting themselves apart from everyone else, the dancers make their own music for their own politcal activity.

To achieve this, he draws on an approach heavily influenced by Theodor Adorno and Critical Theory. In a society made up of recording labels and radio stations, far more recordings are produced than an individual can listen to in a lifetime, and in an effort to spend more time in Use-Time than in Exchange-Time people begin to stockpile recordings of what they want to hear.

Haydn wouldn’t have happened without a patron wielding significant political and financial power.

Jacques Attali. Noise: The Political Economy of Music.

Retrieved from ” https: I agree with the difficulty in the read, but I will blame noize on a poor translation than Attali’s writing prowess not that I have compared with the French version. Regardless, as a a fairly short read this book will provoke thought.


The Cultural Politics of Race and Sacrificing refers to the pre-history of modern music—the period of purely oral tradition. Specifically, music is said by Attali to have been first created as a way to commit symbolic violence against the other, to preempt the need for ritual murder which in “ancient” societies was the act that identified a scapegoat, an other, thereby giving everyone else a sense of tr In sum, the history of music should be rewritten as a political effort to channel violence through noise, which by its nature is unwieldy and acts as a safety valve, to put it too simply.

He claims listening to music is listening to all noise, which makes one believe that its appropriation and control is a reflection of power, that it is essentially political. Indeed, Attali stresses that, at any given time in any society, a struggle is taking place between the “official” music, which symbolizes the existing order and works to channel people’s aggressive feelings into harmony with that order, and a subversive counter-music, which expresses the anger of those who are excluded from power and are struggling to define a new form of society.

To see what politiical friends thought of this book, please sign up. Aug 30, Michael rated it it was ok. That is exactly what John Politiccal was thinking. The emergence of the two types is supported by the increasing social control of noise. Although the new order is not contained in the structure of the old, it is nonetheless not a product of chance.

Takes some serious commitment to read, but every lover of music should do just that!

Item was exactly as stated! The Soundscape by R. Inside, there is a black and white reproduction of the whole painting.

It will serve as an inspiration, as a philosophical foundation for politically noiise artists, and as an encouragement to develop counterinstitutions in the world of music.