“[Aesthetic standardization] is hidden behind a veneer of individual ‘effects’ whose prescriptions are handled as the experts’ secret, however open this secret may be to musicians generally” (438-9)
“Listening to popular music is manipulated not only by its promoters, but as it were, by the inherent nature of this music itself, into a system of response-mechanisms wholly antagonistic to the ideal of individuality in a free, liberal society” (442)
Theodor Adorno, (2002) On popular music, Essays on Music.
Nowadays, who reads T. Adorno (1903-1969), except philosophy aggregators? This musicologist, who was also the famous “New music Philosophy “author Alban Berg’s student, was the avant-garde philosopher who put his discipline out from its aesthetic till first of all in order to confront the music to several discoveries of sociology, but also to rub it against technique innovations and thirdly, to submit it to a rigorous phenomenological exam?
Throughout this analysis, three main axes are going to be treated. First of all, the effects and stakes in the Cultural Industry referred to Theodor Adorno’s theories. In several essays and books, Adorno deals with “the emancipation of the cultural public”, this notion of “public” will be the subject of a second part including a parallelism with the new concept of “amateurism”. Finally and less conceptual, we will deal with a modern tricky issue: Do the culture industries represent a threat for the culture itself? Indeed, this redefinition of the musical business industry includes several paradoxes a manager has to face in order to manage his/her artist or band.
I) The Cultural Industry: effects and stakes
Theodor Adorno denounced in a severe terms the cultural industry during a conference in 1963. Since, the cultural industry kept on increasing and T. Adorno’s texts is still as relevant as it was at that time. The text describes the effects of a society in which the politic, industry and commerce are