Embracing a Mediat[is]ed Modernity: An Approach to Exploring Humanity in Posthuman Music

Jeffrey M. Morris


In the nineteenth century, the reputation of Beethoven’s music persisted long after his death, causing younger composers to feel as if they were competing against the “flood” of Beethoven’s influence. Many composers like Johannes Brahms and Gustav Mahler reconciled themselves in this situation by referring to or adapting materials of Beethoven’s but using them in their own ways. The advent of recording technology extended this effect to every composer that could be recorded, without relying solely on history to recognise and preserve their voices through repeated performances. The voices of performers are also prolonged through recorded media. Now every sound can live forever in this sense, and new artists are caught amidst the ever-growing flood of once-living artists.

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