Current of Music
March 2009, Polity
Current of Music is the title that Adorno himself gave to this research project. For complex reasons, however, Adorno was not able to bring the several thousands of pages of this massive study, most of it written in English, to a final form prior to leaving New York for California, where he would immediately begin work with Max Horkheimer on the Dialectic of Enlightenment. Robert Hullot-Kentor, the distinguished Adorno scholar, reconstructed Adorno's project for the Adorno Archive in Germany and provides a lengthy and informative introduction to the fragmentary texts collected in this volume.
Current of Music will be widely discussed for the light it throws on the development of Adorno's thought, on his complex relationship with Walter Benjamin, but most of all for the important perspectives it provides on questions of popular culture, the music of industrial entertainment, the history of radio and the social dimensions of the reproduction of art.
1 Radio Physiognomics.
2 A Social Critique of Radio Music.
3 The Radio Symphony: An Experiment in Theory.
4 Analytical Study of the NBC Appreciation Hour.
5 'What a Music Appreciation Hour Should Be. Plans for a music education program, Radio Broadcasts on WNYC and Drafts.
6 'On Popular Music' : Draft Material and Text.
7 Musical Analyses of Hit Songs.
A The Radio Voice.
B Memorandum on Lyrics in Popular Music.
C Experiment on: Preference for Material or Treatment of two Popular Songs.
D The Problem of Experimentation in Music Psychology.
E Note on Classification.
F On the Use of Elaborate Personal Interviews for the Princeton Radio Research Project.
G The Problem of a New Type of Human Being.
H Some Remarks on a Propaganda Publication of NBC.
I Theses about the Idea and Form of Collaboration of the Princeton Radio Research Project..
Index of names
A major new book in the Polity series of publications which make available Adorno's previously unpublished writings.
This volume comprises some of Adorno's most important writings on music and radio and deals with themes for which he is particularly well known, such as the critique of the culture industry.
The book includes a substantial introduction by Robert Hullot-Kentor, who is one of the leading Adorno scholars in the English-speaking world.