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Jazz, Radio and the Masses

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Chapter Summary

In this chapter the author focuses on aspects of Adorno's views of the masses evident in discussion of jazz, popular music and radio. The style and language of this work are legitimized behind the barricade of theory against which practice, in Adorno's view, can make few, if any, substantive inroads. Radio, film and later astrology columns and television all reflect the prevailing order and need for conformity, or exhibit the utter destructiveness of new technology. Conscious acquiescence to the demands of the market through jazz and popular music ran parallel to other claims that more clearly illustrated obedience and the wilful absence of self-control. There is a sense in this personal attacks made from the conviction of his intellectual and cultural superiority. A confusion of "artistic quality with questions of personal conduct" diminished jazz as an art form to the point at which it became identical with the black race.

Keywords: Adorno; jazz; masses; music; obedience; radio

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