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12, Pleasure (2002), pp. 29-30 Published by: The MIT Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1513345 Accessed: 11/10/2009 08:48
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and the subdominant. the socalled principle of the unprovable wrong note. But even in the Greek philosophy of music a massive problem occurred in the form of the Pythagorean limma: that is. pp. as during an orgasm-but also the pleasure of the building up of energy. the mere execution. or even a single musical piece as creating a whole "musical cosmos" (an often-used topos in critiques). there is "listening music. inducing the feeling of leaving the tonic.g. musician). The problem of the relationship between pleasure and tension was an issue for Sigmund Freud.g. and especially I contemporary or so-called New Music. The pleasure of the listener was reduced to that of understanding the structure of the music. sexual excitement. The latter idea has been applied directly to contemporary music on a vast scale . that pleasure is always connected to the release of drive-energy. a mathematically consistent tuning bringing together pure fifths and pure octaves does not exist. It is ajoke of history that the very romantic idea of the composer as a dictator was then reintroduced through the back door. To focus on another point. The second verdict was formulated after WorldWar II: that it is impossible to write a poem after Auschwitz. a definite separation between composer and interpreter-between the "thinker"and the "realizer"-developed. what kind of pleasure or satisfaction would an interpreter experience from this style of playing music? This work is clearly reduced to a technical approach to music. the first approach. And a new kind of interpreter came into being: the new-music interpreter as a kind of scientific specialist. we should remember two verdicts. in form of an orgasm. producing a tension to revert to the tonic.g. tension. handed down by Adorno. is a very old idea that can be found all the way back in the ancient Greek ideal of music as a reflection of the harmonic order of the macrocosmos. riseboth The rary a that compositions equal set of instructions of and technical impossible requireperhaps can ments performers be upon the seento make actoftaking in a execution pleasure their of The form masochism.g. That is. e. The question remains.com>. be found in his sociology of music. Adorno. The idea of interpreting music as a reflection of the whole world. Returning to contemporary music and pleasure. andStockhausen. cannot be upheld. e. Lust is not only the pleasure of releasing a certain drive-energy-e. precise as possible. his or her role becoming more and more like that of a bank employee.Some of Sadomasochistic Aspects Musical Pleasure Friedl Reinhold ABSTRACT t is quite well known that music. inthe "noise the more music. is not pure pleasurepure pleasure being comparable to relaxing in a warm bathtub. the difference between the frequencies of the two resulting notes is the limma [or "remnant"] ). To simplify: the "best"listener is the one who is able to perceive the whole musical structure of a composition while listening to it. the audience withdrew. where each value of a parameter has the same number of occurrences) or "emancipation" (e. the German term Lust having a double meaning. wherein his categorization of different types of listeners develops a hierarchy. I do not want to pursue here the question of the pleasure of listening to different "stories"of leaving and coming back to a harmonic basis. due to a fallacy or false cadence (trugschlufl). Using an up-to-date and pragmatic categorization of musics. 29-30. In this way music has not only tried to become a philosophical discipline. E-mail: <RhFriedl@aol. One dream. This development created a new type of interpretation. 12. This is clearly an intellectual. With this in mind. the functional harmonic structure of European music is based on two main psychological tensions: the dominant.g. in serial music. audiintellectuencesof increasingly could be alized musical styles relationsaid enjoy similar to a to And ship performance. Political categories such as "democratization" (e. the simple idea of drive-energy or the "axiomatic system" of the family of drives had to be changed to include the so-called death urge . I want to focus on the listening music (chill-out music can be treated as the "bathtubpleasure" I mentioned above). it still wanted poems after Auschwitz. Thus. not a physical pleasure. The first can Reinhold Friedl (composer. for the first time in history. e. (A pitch seven octaves higher than a given note is not the same as the pitch twelve fifths higher. of dissonance) have not only been applied to musical structures." "dance music" and "chill-outmusic. The occurrence of pleasure in building up a drive-energy introduced a theoretical problem. Interestingly. but has also tried to temper physical pleasure. Ijust want to emphasize the fact that the pleasure of listening to that kind of music requires the capacity to follow harmonic tensions and even be misled sometimes. As a very recognizable effect of the above development. formulated by the veterans of early electronic music. Graefstr. was to phase out the human interpreter and replace him or her completely with electronic versions of musical compositions. So music was treated even then as an imperfect copy of the perfect order of the macrocosmos. of given structures. Two possibilities result: (1) the interpreter becomes a technician who does not know and does not care about plea- that The author posits a of dynamic sadomasochistic in is pleasure atwork contempoof music." physical intended is often effect not but pleasure sufferauditory author recounts a ing. Vol. and the pleasure of the interpreter was reduced to playing the right note at the right time. but also have been given frequently as arguments for the artistic value of a composition or a compositional style. Conservative or pleasure-oriented as it was." Because the last two can be considered functional typesof music.g. 5. ? 2002 ISAST LEONARDO MUSICJOURNAL. Freud Schumann Nietzsche. "Criticaltheory"has held that the music of the future will have to be critical in such a way as to change society. Germany.The in number sources his of from to discussion. music can induce very different pleasures. D-10967 Berlin. 2002 29 .
edu/entries/nietzsche/>. Pontalis. mut Oehring. Lou Reed. 5. 69-77.] Und das ist das gr6ote Kunstwerk.stockhausen. Freud probably would use the term "moral masochism" for this behavior: taking the role of the victim without having sexual pleasure . 3. which is clearly a masochistic response. Manuscript received 15 January 2002. Merzbow's Alien 8 recordings are listed at <http://www. References and Notes 1. DaB also Geister in einem Akt etwasvollbringen. there are also some musicians who introduced in the 1980s a very hard and very physical "noise music.edu/music/MUH/composers/schumann. only to fail every time. 1/27 does not equal 1/312 The difference between the two frequencies is called the Pythagorean limma. To return to the relation between pleasure and tension-which is probably one of the most interesting questions in aesthetics and one of the points Merzbow focuses on: If tension alwaysincludes a kind of "pain"(e. which emerged in his statements about the events of 11 September 2001 in New York. it turns out to be a classic example of a sadomasochistic structure. If this role is combined with pleasure. This document is available online at <http:// www.As pianist and composer. 1978). Und dann sterben.hut. well past the pain threshold of the listeners. But leaving aside this provocative argument. ist natiirlich-jetzt muisen Sie alle Ihr Gehirn umstellen-das grolte Kunstwerk. the tension built up by leaving the tonic sphere can only appear as a form of pain. but a compassion . of suffering through a drama until a solution. At least this would be very compatible with the old Greek theory of catharsis. LaDer planche andJ. has he worked withmusiciansand composers as such LeeRinaldoof SonicYouth.uk/notes/Yearl/developmental/dev/ Attachment%20Lecture%20-%202001. to return to that point). Stockhausen's comments came at the end of a press conference in which Stockhausen was questioned about his works and his beliefs in the works of St.comparing it to the idea of musicians practicing fanaticallyfor 10 years for a single concert and then dying during the "performance" . 2. among others. Das sind also Leute. Bass sounds really "touch" the listener . fur ein Konzert. Das Vokabular Psychoanalyse (Frankfurt am Main. I would like to mention how Schumann's fourth finger on his right hand became crippled because he tied it up to improve his playing .. total fanatisch.pdf>. More information about Schumann's life and injury to his hand (somewhat varied accounts) are available at: <http://www. To be motivated to perform in this way. 4. Stellen Sie sich das doch vor. that his ever-losing fight against the given structure gains a very emotional dimension: Sisyphus onstage.a.does not obviously include the idea of suffering from the performance. which defines the roles of activityand pas- sivity.veritasdigital. In order not to finish without proving that I do not speak of nonexistent phenomena. A transcription of the Stockhausen press conference was published in "'Huuuh!' Das Pressegesprach am 16 September 2001 im Senatszimmer des Hotel Atlantic in Hamburg. but as there is no direct pleasure.B. 30 Friedl. Alan Marks and Alexander von Schlippenbach and also studied mathematicsin Stuttgart Berlin. but is felt as pleasure.sure or (2) he or she finds a certain pleasure in merely obeying orders. the Berlin Academyof Arts and STEIMin Amsterdam and has publishedarticlesin newpapers and journals.ac.He has received and fellowshipsfrom. The interpreter has to work so hard onstage. MasamiAkita).htm>. Stockhausen stated that he believes Lucifer was present in September 2001 in New York.php3>. Merzbow)-who told me in a discussion that he believes that all music is a sadomasochistic act. <http://carolinanavy. then this can be looked at as a definite sadomasochistic pleasure. Adorno. as positive pleasure would be forbidden for the audience too.fi/-omertalo/Merzbow. Out of the Spiritof Music (Die Geburt der Trag6die aus dem Geiste der Musik). The reduction of the drive produces feelings of pleasure and we return to a comfortable state of biological equilibrium. A listing of Nietzsche's writings is available at <http:// plato. 7. as it is based on a game of power between the performer and the audience. This theory would make the understanding of some new-complexity compositions possible. Michael and Lucifer. Nietzsche's first book was published in 1872: The Birth of Tragedy. <http://www. Interviews with MasamiAkita (a. So he makes the sadomasochistic relationship between audience and performer quite obvious. 6. die sind so konzentriert aufdieses eine auf die eine Auffiihrung. was da passiert ist. Somehow he has turned the above-described situation of the contemporary music interpreter upside-down: in his concerts he uses noise levels of over 110 dB. A discussion of the controversy surrounding Stockhausen's statements and the manner in which they were reported in the press appears on the Stockhausen web site at <http://www. But in order not to be too provocative.was esje gegeben hat.com/schu mann/biography. ReinholdFriedl a Berlin-based is inperformer.. we seek to satisfy the related need.k. 8.com/merzbow/>.k.Friedlfoundedand diprofessional rects the ensemblesPiano-Inside-Out and zeitkratze. Stockhausen discusses the lengthy preparation made by the terrorists. Theodor W.org/hamburg. [Zogert. Merzbow) are available at <http://noiseweb. Einleitung in die Musiksoziologie(Frankfurt am Main. In his drive-reduction theory Freud proposed "that early interactions set the pattern for later personality and social development. 305. he or she can also satisfyhis/her sadistic tendencies.stockhausen. Discography and other information at <http:// www. com/fleet2/f2/zclassicalmusic/RobertSchumann (1810-1856)hall/cas/40.htm>.Some Sadomasochistic Aspects of Musical Pleasure . daB Leute zehnJahre iiben wie verriickt.stanford. one would need to be pleased by doing it without pleasure.org/>. htm>. ptloma. The pitch seven octaves higher than a given note and the pitch twelve fifths higher than the same given note are actually of two slightly different frequencies-that is. which led to a reporter questioning Stockhausen further.J. performing his masochistic pleasure. However. He suggested that people are motivated by biological drives (states of arousal such as hunger that lead us to obtain the prerequisites for survival). This. was wir in der Musik nie traumen k6nnten. trying to realize the impossible.html>. I also wish briefly to recall Karlheinz Stockhausen's concept of interpreters. und dann werden fiinftausend Leute in die Auferstehung gejagt.com/merzbow. perhaps in addition to theatrically underlining the seriousness of the work. could be a reason for the longstanding fashion among new-music interpreters of dressing only in black. Nicolas Collins. das es iberhaupt gibt fir den ganzen Kosmos. HelPhillNiblock.a.g. I would like to point out that the difference emphasized by Nietzsche is that this suffering is not a true physical suffering or pain." One of their important protagonists is Masami Akita (a. When one of these drives is aroused. But Akita is even convinced that every musical performance onstage is a sadomasochistic act. alien8recordings. the agreement between the audience and the performer. The original statement (responding to a reporter's query to Stockhausen's about his notes to his work Hymnenin relation to the 11 September events) was as follows: Hm.Radu MalGuenter MarioBertoncini and fatti. If the interpreter performs in front of an audience. and who terpreter composer studied piano with Renate Werner. one would need to take pleasure in it. Bernhard (nuova consonanza)and has madecountless radioand CDrecordings. exaggerating the technical difficulties of their scores to the point where they are impossible for any interpreter to play.a.dur.k. Thus he proposed that pleasure seeking is a basic principle of existence.html>. 1973). as it becomes physical.." MusikTexte91(2001) pp." See <http:// psynts. Merzbow (a. in a composition of Vienna Klassik. Also was da geschehen ist. Laplanche and Pontalis  p. in the sense of the classic slave role.
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