Summer 1996 • Vol. XVIII No. 3/4 Kenyon Review Classics |

A Social Critique of Radio Music

KENYON REVIEW CLASSICfrom THE KENYON REVIEW, SPRING 1945 Some would approach the problem of radio by formulating questions of this type: If we confront such and such a sector of the population with such and such a type of music, what reactions may we expect? How can these reactions be measured and expressed statistically? Or: How many sections of the population have been brought into contact with music and how do they respond to it? What intention lies behind such questions? This approach falls into two major operations: (a) We subject some groups to a number of different treatments and see how they react to each. (b) We select and recommend the procedure which produces the effect we desire. The aim itself, the tool by which we achieve it, and the persons upon whom it works are generally taken for granted in this procedure. The guiding interest behind such investigations is basically one of administrative technique: how to manipulate the masses. The pattern is th

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The son of an opera singer, T.W. Adorno (1903-69) was a sociologist, philosopher, and musicologist. In 1924, he received his doctorate in philosophy from the University of Frankfurt and went on to become a renowned essayist. In addition to training as a concert pianist, he was a leading member of the Frankfurt School of critical theory and is considered to be one of the foremost thinkers on aesthetics and philosophy of the twentieth century.

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