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Title: Musical eutopias : a positive critique of popular musics & mediated listening, with particular reference to the BBC & public service radio
Author: Edge, Kevin
ISNI:       0000 0004 2747 9736
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2009
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Musical eutopias offers positive critiques of the socio-cultural aspects of popular musics, the medium of radio in general, and the British Broadcasting Corporation in particular. Marxian critiques of what Ms9, together with normative, socialist visions of what 'ought' to be, are reviewed with reference to radio's listening subjects and broadcasting ideals. Arguably, popular musics embraced by radio only offer a dystopian standardisation for a mass audience. However, it is mooted here that socio- cultural knowledges mediated by a public service broadcaster can contribute positively to a subject's negotiation of modernity and the objective world. The humanistic potentials of music and broadcasting are considered using two conceits: (1) Sir Thomas Mote's diagnostic benchmark of desired alternatives and perfection: Utopia and (2) Utopia's 'desublimation' in More's quasi-antonymic term, eutopia which is an actual site of resources and relative goodness. To sift for music's Utopia and the eutopian aspects of Theodor Adorno's 'music in radio', the writings of Ernst Bloch, Herbert Marcuse and Jurgen Habermas are reassessed and joined by new Utopian theory from Caryl Flinn, Stephen Eric Bronner and allied thinkers. The cultural and allegorical dimensions of music, and the institutional histories and ideals of the BBC are examined through the work of Antonio Gramsci, Raymond Williams, Michel Foucault, David Levin, Christopher Norris, Simon Frith, Georgina Born and others. A near-Kantian sensibility, imagination and understanding are argued to develop (after Marcuse) in the musical eutopias of public broadcasting. There, a dialectic of Utopian musical desires, socio-political philosophies and independent professional agency promotes rich aesthetic content and an equitable discursive framework for all. The study concludes mat such in-common, public service eutopias of musical and moral dimensions are still of value for subjects becoming rational, empathetic species beings. Such eutopias might even counter new media solipsism and any instrumentally driven calls for broadcast reform. Thesis word total: 79,929. Excludes indented quotations, footnotes, appendices, references and bibliography.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available