1st International Congress of Musicology

Athens Goethe Institute, 25-27 February 2002

Paper Abstracts

Alexandros Baltzis

Musical Life and Commodity Relations

Certain functions of commodity relations in musical life are analyzed and discussed. Research on the implications and significance of these relations represent nowadays a serious challenge for the sociology of music that has provided in the past exemplary elaborations and critical approaches.
The analysis focuses on the fact that the modification of the commodity relations has a strong impact on every section of musical life and in several of its aspects. This impact seems to be reinforced in a multiplicative way in the context of a global economy, where time and space limitations specific for the previous status quo are removed. From this point of view, the form of globalization, that is dominant for the time being, takes on a special importance for musical life. It plays a part in the development of new patterns of musical culture in general.
In these unprecedented circumstances musical education acquires particular significance. It may function in a decisive way not only and not mainly as an autonomous form of education, but rather as an organic component embedded in a system of education that takes seriously into account aesthetics and art. This course involves a thoroughly elaborated reconsideration of musical education in its entirety. It also involves the kind of rearrangements that inescapably are tied up with political decisions.