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Habermas, J. Hirschkop, K. Maxwell, I.

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Sonic synergies: music, technology, community identity, Aldershot, UK Ashgate, 79— Skip to main content. When a Place Becomes a Community: Music, radio and the reach of social aesthetics. Charles Fairchild.

The advent of radio broadcasting remains indelibly marked by what we now recognize as wild speculation about its magical properties and social potential. Radio waves were once said to reach us by exciting the luminiferous ether, an invisible all-encompassing medium imagined to carry sound and light across vast distances to bring the music of the spheres down to earth. The theory of the ether proposed a whole new imaginary vista accessible to anyone at the turn of a dial. Artists and scientists, poets and engineers, spun remarkable visions of what might be wrung from this novel medium.

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Not long after the turn of the millennium, the BBC World Service introduced a multi-part series on the globalization of popular culture with a telling, if familiar, rhetorical gesture. This book is about several things. First, it is about the social relationships people create for themselves with each other through music. Second, it is about the forms of self-organization they use to do this and how the voluntary relationships upon which these acts of self-organization are based work.

Third, it is about how the social contexts which foster these acts might be maintained and enhanced to make our society and culture more open and democratic.


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I have chosen to look at how people use community radio stations to do this. However, these organizations, by their very nature, are marginalized within the larger systems of power in which they have no choice but to participate.

They are compelled to deal with institutions such as the state and corporations that have a great deal of power over them. The survival of community radio stations is constantly threatened because they are constituted in ways that these more powerful institutions do not recognize. As I will show in this chapter, the logics that govern state and corporate institutions often have consequences that are as deliberate as they are paradoxically unintended and yet perfectly in keeping with their animating intent. None of these dominant institutions explicitly set out to destroy the community radio stations studied in this book, yet in several cases this is almost exactly what happened.

Early on in this project, I went to conduct an interview with a longtime music presenter and volunteer at ArtSound FM. The presenter had kindly agreed to take me through the process of preparing her drive-time mix program. The building in which this radio station was housed at that time was tiny and cramped.

Australian Summary Compares commercial and community radio institutions and practices. Shows how people can create democratic discourses by speaking through other people's music. Argues that the social relations produced by playing music on the radio, and the inherent ambiguity of music itself, hold the potential for cultural democracy. Shows how community radio's aesthetic practices accord with the ideals of an open and equitable public sphere, contributing to civil society and a potentially democratic aesthetics in which the 'old medium' of radio holds profound lessons for 'new media'.

I Enforcing and Evading Rationalization 1. Social Solidarity in the Luminiferous Ether Speaking through music: The aesthetic practices of radio The public lives of music The public sphere and cultural democracy 2. Corporate Rationality, Communicative Reason and Aesthetic Experience The problem of the public and the ambiguity of the aesthetic Payola: The anti-aesthetic Subjects of perception opening to communicative potential A civil and potentially democratic aesthetics Conclusion 3.

Of Communities and Constituencies: Radio, the Market and the State Social networks defined by constituency relationships The struggle to exist and survive Deregulation and privatization: Cordoning off the ether pt. How do these sounds convey meaning? Notes Formerly CIP.

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Includes bibliography p. View online Borrow Buy Freely available Show 0 more links Set up My libraries How do I set up "My libraries"? Flinders University Central Library. Open to the public ; Open to the public M Swinburne Library. The University of Melbourne Library.

Music, Radio and the Public Sphere: The Aesthetics of Democracy

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