Abstracts of issue 9 (1997)

Alexandros G. Baltzis

Sociological and Philosophical Aspects of Musical Material

The sociology of music is interested in musical material as an historically preformulated object and as the substratum of certain expression and communication forms. The term artistic representative realization comprises these forms in their unity, conceived as a social process. This process constitutes a special form of human activity and includes making the artistic invention perceivable as well as perceiving through artistic representations. Musical life as a unity of various social activities (composition, accumulation, reproduction, spread and perception of musical creations) includes those two processes.
Musical intonation as well as intonation in general is not possible without a material vehicle, i.e., without the musical material. In every musical culture, musical material is a result of complex processes. It constitutes a primary element used by collective or individual subjects in order to make their creative inventions perceivable.
Musical material as an historic (social) product codifies in a unique way the human approach to reality in general not only to sonic reality. This codification is mediated by notions about reality and these notions govern any concrete formulation of musical material. Musical material does not exist in some kind of neutral substratum, but as an intersubjective relation. Such a relation concerns evaluating and determining the ways in which sonic continuity may be fragmented. It also concerns evaluating and determining the ways that it may be musically acceptable or rejected.