Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Response to Arthur

My question revolves around whether music is a medium and what message it sends. You very well explained your points that certain types of non-expressive music such as the Mall of America music can inform social discourses and not necessarily have to focus on melodic and harmonic structures. Here you make two categories: non-expressive music and expressive music. I had originally thought of music wholly as one entity as a “medium”. I’d like to define “medium” as an extension of ourselves, just like any other new technology. Therefore no matter what genre it is or whatever expressive meaning it has, music is a “medium” or a “tool” to change the scale/pace/pattern of previous human functions. Such as an airplane, by accelerating the speed of transportation, it dissolve the railway form of city, politics and association, quite independently of what the airplane is used for.  Regarding your example of the music television in the 80s, I believe that music video is also a medium, just like the airplane and its contents are also mediums (music, video images, dance performance, graphic arts) themselves. If digging deeper, the content of music is rhythm, melody, harmony and form. The content of each of these four is human thoughts, knowledge and expressions.
The “content”, such as the musicality of a music piece, often blinds us to the character of a medium.  The music television itself did not introduce the individual elements of music, video, etc, but it changes the pattern of our previous lives in society. Maybe MTV the music video channel, at that time had came to realization that it was not the business of producing videos, music or performance, but rather in the business of processing and distributing information.

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