Sound Commitments: Avant-Garde Music and the Sixties

Sound Commitments: Avant-Garde Music and the Sixties

by Robert Adlington
     
 

ISBN-10: 019533664X

ISBN-13: 9780195336641

Pub. Date: 02/19/2009

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

The role of popular music is widely recognized in giving voice to radical political views, the plight of the oppressed, and the desire for social change. Avant-garde music, by contrast, is often thought to prioritize the pursuit of new technical or conceptual territory over issues of human and social concern. Yet throughout the activist 1960s, many avant-garde…  See more details below

Overview

The role of popular music is widely recognized in giving voice to radical political views, the plight of the oppressed, and the desire for social change. Avant-garde music, by contrast, is often thought to prioritize the pursuit of new technical or conceptual territory over issues of human and social concern. Yet throughout the activist 1960s, many avant-garde musicians were convinced that aesthetic experiment and social progressiveness made natural bedfellows. Intensely involved in the era's social and political upheavals, they often sought to reflect this engagement in their music. Yet how could avant-garde musicians make a meaningful contribution to social change if their music remained the preserve of a tiny, initiated clique? In answer, Sound Commitments examines the encounter of avant-garde music and "the Sixties" across a range of genres, aesthetic positions, and geographical locations. Through music for the concert hall, tape and electronic music, jazz and improvisation, Participatory "events," performance art, and experimental popular music, the essays in this volume explore developments in the United States, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, the Soviet Union, Japan, and Parts of the "Third World," delving into the deep richness of avant-garde musicians' response to the decade's defining cultural shifts.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780195336641
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
02/19/2009
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.30(w) x 9.30(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Contributors ix

Introduction: Avant-garde Music and the Sixties Robert Adlington 3

1 Avant-garde: Some Introductory Notes on the Politics of a Label Hubert F. van den Berg 15

Part I Ideologies

2 "Demolish Serious Culture!": Henry Flynt and Workers World Party Benjamin Piekut 37

3 Forms of Opposition at the "Politiek-Demonstratief Experimenteel" Concert Robert Adlington 56

4 Aesthetic Theories and Revolutionary Practice: Nikolaus A. Huber and Clytus Gottwald in Dissent Beate Kutschke 78

Part II Rethinking the Popular

5 "Music Is a Universal Human Right": Musica Elettronica Viva Amy C. Beal 99

6 The Problem of the Political in Steve Reich's Come Out Sumanth Gopinath 121

7 The Politics of Presque rien Eric Drott 145

Part III Politicizing Performance

8 ONCE and the Sixties Ralf Dietrich 169

9 "Scream against the Sky": Japanese Avant-garde Music in the Sixties Yayoi Uno Everett 187

Part IV The Challenge of Institutionalization

10 After the October Revolution: The Jazz Avant-garde in New York, 1964-65 Bernard Gendron 211

11 American Cultural Diplomacy and the Mediation of Avant-garde Music Danielle Fosler-Lussier 232

12 From Scriabin to Pink Floyd: The ANS Synthesizer and the Politics of Soviet Music between Thaw and Stagnation Peter J. Schmelz 254

Index 279

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