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Anna Ganzha   1
  • 1 National Research University Higher School of Economics, 20 Myasnitskaya Str., Moscow, 101000, Russian Federation

Culture as Obstacle: Demusicalization of the World in the Hybrid Discourses of the Effects of Music

2017, vol. 16, No. 1, pp. 50–82 [issue contents]
The article problematizes the relationship between music, nature, and culture in the heterogeneous discourse of the therapeutic effects of music and in Adorno’s critical theory of music. To determine the nature of this relationship, the article refers to the conceptual metaphors and ontological intuitions of the actor-network theory (ANT). Using ANT, the article articulates the concept of “hybrid discourse” that differs from the related concepts of social semiotics and postcolonial theory. This concept is used in a lesser degree to describe local communicative practices that mixes different languages, sociolects, ethnolects and functional styles of speech, and used in a higher degree to describe discursive constructions revealing the symptoms of hybrid activity on the borders of nature and culture. The article analyses the discursive practices of the New Age movement that invokes music, from theosophy in the late XIX century to modern esoteric-therapeutic narratives. In these discursive practices, we find the significant combination of pseudo-religious re-enchantment of the world and its radical nihilistic “de-musicalization” (in the terminology of Leo Spitzer). In hybrid esoteric discourses, the modern socio-acoustic texture of nature—culture is neutralized in favor of transcendent reality of the un-human. In Adorno’s critical theory, ontological dualities are synthesized into the ideological totality of the culture industry. It is only in the early vanguard of the Second Viennese School that Adorno discovers the ghostly possibility of an exit from culture industry, achieving the true nature of music and non-alienated sociality.
Citation: Ganzha A. (2017) Kul'tura kak prepyatstvie: razmuzykalivanie mira v gibridnykh diskursakh muzykal'nogo vozdeystviya [Culture as Obstacle: Demusicalization of the World in the Hybrid Discourses of the Effects of Music]. The Russian Sociological Review, vol. 16, no 1, pp. 50-82 (in Russian)
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