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MUS 330 – Music, War and Violence Jan. 18, 2011
c. Forward: The exercise of (physical) force so as to inf lict injury on, or cause damage
to, persons or property; action or conduct characterized by this; treatment or usage
tending to cause bodily injur y or forcibly interfering with personal freedom
•Causing bodily harm to particular individuals
•Psychological harm – (has a physical dimension)
•But ‘force’ or ‘harm’ does not reduce to its physical dimension
•Freud, Lacan etc: Violence in the normal constitution of subjects
•Violence not against individuals but not towards a culture or group for instance, the
destruction of a language or musical practice, or sacred objects etc.
century forward: Undue constraint applied to some natural process, habit, etc, so as to
prevent its free development or exercise.
•Violence may not only be done to people it can be done to culture
•Ethnic = culture
-I) Music as Respons e
•A) Mediation between people, of conf lict etc
oExample: The Pianist – The “Christmas Truce” of 1914
oJewish piano player, officer let him live as long as he played the piano –
conf licting scene; what if the Jewish person was a soccer player would he still
•B) Hope, aid in survival
oExamples: “Saturday Happiness,” “Fruit in the Forest”
•Music is not only the expression of emotion – when it is it can discipline the emotion to
make it function; music is something that you ride
•C) Forum for cultivating resistance
oExample: African-American gospel tradition; Voices from the days of slavery
oEncouraging kinds of functioning
-II) Music as practise of violence
•A) Violent (sounding) musics
oWhat is this all about? Wasn’t music supposed to be beautiful or something?
oAn example of violent music; metal or punk rock etc
oDefinition of music is not just beauty; it is more like humanly organized sounds
oSound without necessarily having to mean something
oRed Chord, “Nihilist” – very heavy/violent
oWhat’s the point of listening to this type of music? To release aggression
especially when you’re moshing
oTo explore the darker side of life, religion, individual, etc.
•Expressive of patterned violence in social, political, economic life? (f igure of violence)
•Violent in themselves? Endorsing various programs of destruction, domination, etc?
(practices of violence?
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