Communication in Music

Authored by: Christian Kaden , Translated by Katharina Maes-Roopchansingh

The Handbook of Communication History

Print publication date:  December  2012
Online publication date:  January  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415892599
eBook ISBN: 9780203149119
Adobe ISBN: 9781136514319


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In general, communication appears as a way of human togetherness, the creation of commitments and interactive connections, based on shared availability of cultural meaning. This normally implies neither the exchange of energies nor of material substances, but the distribution of information. However, with music in mind, this classical approach must be modified. The materiality of music is by no means unimportant—like the materiality of a radio signal would be, which could be substituted by light or acoustical waves. (For a discussion of music within the context of radio’s history, see Sterling, this volume.) Music as music will always remain important for the development of social “outcomes.” Never can it be translated or replaced. But to traditional perceptions of information theory must be added aesthetic forms of communication.

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