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Conference Paper: Medium as Genre: Defining Radio Music through Cinema

TitleMedium as Genre: Defining Radio Music through Cinema
Authors
Issue Date2017
Citation
Music-Sound-Radio: Theorizing Music Radio How to Cite?
AbstractIn this paper I examine cinematic representations of radio listenership as instances of distributed experiences shareable across a vast spatio-temporal framework. In doing so, my goal is to argue for the productive role of cinema as a mediating agent in the history of radio music. There are different ways in which cinema's mediating agency may be understood. Films have long been a reservoir of representations of established modes of listening; but insofar as representations are both a sensuous experience and a validation of listening habits, they have also been harbingers of new, or evolving, listening practices. In both framing and highlighting the presence of radio broadcasts in the mise-en-scène, since the 1930s fiction films in particular have been contributing to the emergence of the very notion of “radio music.” As against the film score or other instances of realistically motivated music, 'radio music' in film is defined as much by the medium, its mode of employment, and the listening habits it enables as the stylistic, generic or technical aspects of the music per se. To bear this out, I examine the use of radio music broadcasts in three paradigmatic films of the 1970s: The Conformist (dir. B. Bertolucci, 1970), Thieves Like Us (dir. R. Altman, 1972; ), and Apocalypse Now (dir. F.F. Coppola, 1977). The films are paradigmatic in that they are sophisticated reconstructions of historical moments in which the radio was either one of the most pervasive and influential mass medium or a privileged site of both propaganda and warfare. All films insist on the radio at a time—the early 1970s—in which the dominance of the television had all but been consummated. Their nuanced reconstruction of the conditions of production and reception of radio broadcasting is thus not only an explicit homage of a historically or geographically situated mediascape but also an oblique reference to—and critique of—the omnipresence of television at the time of the films’ release. Far from diminishing the role or diluting the impact of the radio selections, the implicit comparison with television adds to their allure and power and invites us to ponder the resilience of radio listenership in an ever changing—and ever more crowded—field of media platforms.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/248353

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorBiancorosso, G-
dc.date.accessioned2017-10-18T08:41:52Z-
dc.date.available2017-10-18T08:41:52Z-
dc.date.issued2017-
dc.identifier.citationMusic-Sound-Radio: Theorizing Music Radio-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/248353-
dc.description.abstractIn this paper I examine cinematic representations of radio listenership as instances of distributed experiences shareable across a vast spatio-temporal framework. In doing so, my goal is to argue for the productive role of cinema as a mediating agent in the history of radio music. There are different ways in which cinema's mediating agency may be understood. Films have long been a reservoir of representations of established modes of listening; but insofar as representations are both a sensuous experience and a validation of listening habits, they have also been harbingers of new, or evolving, listening practices. In both framing and highlighting the presence of radio broadcasts in the mise-en-scène, since the 1930s fiction films in particular have been contributing to the emergence of the very notion of “radio music.” As against the film score or other instances of realistically motivated music, 'radio music' in film is defined as much by the medium, its mode of employment, and the listening habits it enables as the stylistic, generic or technical aspects of the music per se. To bear this out, I examine the use of radio music broadcasts in three paradigmatic films of the 1970s: The Conformist (dir. B. Bertolucci, 1970), Thieves Like Us (dir. R. Altman, 1972; ), and Apocalypse Now (dir. F.F. Coppola, 1977). The films are paradigmatic in that they are sophisticated reconstructions of historical moments in which the radio was either one of the most pervasive and influential mass medium or a privileged site of both propaganda and warfare. All films insist on the radio at a time—the early 1970s—in which the dominance of the television had all but been consummated. Their nuanced reconstruction of the conditions of production and reception of radio broadcasting is thus not only an explicit homage of a historically or geographically situated mediascape but also an oblique reference to—and critique of—the omnipresence of television at the time of the films’ release. Far from diminishing the role or diluting the impact of the radio selections, the implicit comparison with television adds to their allure and power and invites us to ponder the resilience of radio listenership in an ever changing—and ever more crowded—field of media platforms.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.relation.ispartofMusic-Sound-Radio: Theorizing Music Radio-
dc.titleMedium as Genre: Defining Radio Music through Cinema-
dc.typeConference_Paper-
dc.identifier.emailBiancorosso, G: rogopag@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityBiancorosso, G=rp01213-
dc.identifier.hkuros281828-

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