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date: 06 December 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This article appears in the Oxford Handbook of New Audiovisual Aesthetics edited by John Richardson, Claudia Gorbman, and Carol Vernallis. Classical music has traditionally denied the relationship of technology to the body, something on which it has always uneasily depended. That denial is well-nigh impossible to maintain today, because of the increasing assimilation of music delivery systems with the “posthuman” condition of machine-human interfaces. Bodies are no longer fully separable from machines, if indeed they ever were. The migration of music to digital media collapses the effect of auditory distance that formed the unspoken basis of music’s relationship to the human. This reorientation necessitates far-reaching changes in our conceptions of classical music, the musical work, the listening body, and the act of performance.

Keywords: classical music, posthuman, technology, machine-human interfaces, digital media, auditory distance, performance

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