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Thomas Mann

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My aversion from music rests on political grounds.
Ch. 4

Thomas Mann

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The theory of politics that emerges from the political literature of the pre-Revolutionary years rests on the belief that what lay behind every political scene, the ultimate explanation of every political controversy, was the disposition of power.

Bernard Bailyn

It's nice to think about the Golden Age of Hollywood, with the big studios and their fabulous music departments and the hundreds of films coming out every year. But it's gone. In some ways the composer today is more fortunate, provided he can find a good film, because he can attempt more than he could two decades ago. Twelve-tone music was unheard of during Max Steiner's heyday, as were any other avant-garde techniques. Finally, the future of film music rests with the composers themselves. lf they take their work seriously and turn out the best that is within them, then perhaps we can persuade not only the public, but the filmmakers that good music is valuable in films. The public is not stupid. If our music survives, which I have no doubt it will, then it will be because it is good.

Jerry Goldsmith

For me the intentions of background music are openly political, and an example of how political power is constantly shifting from the ballot box into areas where the voter has nowhere to mark his ballot paper. The most important political choices in the future will probably never be consciously exercised. I'm intrigued by the way some background music is surprisingly aggressive, especially that played on consumer complaint phone lines and banks, airplanes and phone companies themselves, with strident non-rhythmic and arms-length sequences that are definitely not user-friendly.

J. G. Ballard

It is always the psychic and social grounds, brought into play by each medium or technology, that readjust the balance of the hemispheres and of human sensibilities into equilibrium with those grounds.

Marshall McLuhan

We're really not very good about putting music in a social and political context, particularly classical music. It's all sort of above everything. But in South Africa, everything is politicised. You play a piece of classical music out there and you are making a real cultural statement. Or you play with a marimba band and you are saying something else. I think that's the way things should be. The way people write about music makes it seem completely devoid of social context. And audiences drift away as a result.

Joanna MacGregor
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