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2.1: Introduction to Mediation

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    Part 2 of this book focuses on developments in recorded and broadcast media that have helped people move music. It also examines how media strategies and international politics encouraged nation-states to move, support, or suppress music. Chapter 4 illuminates the introduction of recording technology, the development of the international record trade, and some of the effects recording has had on the movement of music. Folk song collectors traveled far and near, moving music from rural areas to cities and creating archives of valued sounds; these archives would change how people thought about their musical heritage. The development of a large consumer market for recordings has encouraged the creation of improbable combinations of sound—from artificially edited representations of nature to the mixing of traditions in “world music.” At the same time, recorded music has also become part of live performances, thanks to the artful combination of recordings in turntabling and electronic dance music. Because these performances can themselves be recorded or re-recorded, our environment includes a vast variety of mixed musics.

    Technologies of recording and broadcasting have served the interests of people who want to move music for particular purposes. Chapter 5 reveals the role of nation-states in moving music across international borders, a process that encompasses the movement of people, as well as the strategic use of media. Both Japan and Turkey made sweeping musical reforms when their governments imported music as a means of modernization. During the Cold War, nation-states used musical style to distinguish themselves from one another and to shore up international alliances. The United States, China, and the Soviet Union also regulated the content of musical performances, attempting to limit the expression of social dissent, yet the circulation of audio recordings and the availability of broadcasts made music much harder to control. In this period people began thinking of the world as a system in which each state Page 94 →offered its particular, characteristic music: though each country presented its own version of heritage, the form and character of these performances became somewhat standardized as these versions toured from country to country. Both modernization efforts and Cold War competition increased the number and variety of musical connections among people in different places.

    This page titled 2.1: Introduction to Mediation is shared under a CC BY-NC 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Danielle Fosler-Lussier via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.