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Friday, July 30, 2010

Communitas and Music Audience Reaction to Faster Internet Speeds

     Consistent access to high speed internet is the simplest way to turn a passive listener into an active listener.  You can talk about technology any which way, but there is no denying that the difference between someone who has high speed internet access and someone who does not, simply because the individual with access to high speed internet has the ability to synthesize more information.  This is not to say that all people who don't have access to the internet are passive listeners or that all high speed internet users are active listeners: quite the opposite.

     Unfortunately, this condition of high speed internet access does not comport with culture industry institutions and their ability to monetize the audience reaction to artistic products.  Culture industry institutions take rituals common to humanity and interpose themselves: writing a song that a theater crowd can sing along to, making player piano's for people to use in their parlor, selling internet downloads.  This insertion lessens the "communitas" felt by ritual participants.

   Thus, wherever you find a culture industry institution interposing itself into a music centered ritual, there will be a contrasting push against that imposition.  Observations along these lines constitute an absolute majority of the material written on music by possessors of a high speed internet connections.  The concern with artistic authenticity by contemporary music writers can be traced to a concern for preserving the communitas feeling of a successful ritual.

   The inability of culture industry institutions to interpose themselves upon audience reaction to artistic products should not be bemoaned.  Rather, it is the period when they could successfully impose themselves between the audience and the artist (roughly the 20th century) which is the anomaly.  Through out history people have used song and music to fulfill ritual obligations, only within the last 200 years have industrial institutions attempted to profit from music and song and it's role in our lives.

   By embracing technology, culture industry institutions sold themselves the rope to hang themselves with: classic capitalist move.

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