Political Ontologies of Music: Rethinking the Relationship between Music and Politics in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries

The research project “Political Ontologies of Music: Rethinking the Relationship between Music and Politics in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries” examines the intersection between the ontological assumptions of fifteen composers from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, their political thought and ethical concerns within their compositional practices and musical works. Ontological assumptions are defined here as personal or collective assertions about the nature and means of music, which reveal our values and beliefs on what music is as well as what music can do or accomplish. This research argues that integrating composers’ ontological assumptions in the exploration of their political or ethical commitments makes possible the study of a broader range of composers and their views about, for example, social justice and environmental issues. The first objective of this research is to understand how composers’ ontological assumptions shape the political possibilities of their music within a specific symbolic order; how musical works and practices can invent new ways of making sense of the common world. The second objective is to examine how composers embedded their music in singular processes within ethical concerns, such as human rights and equality, common good and social justice.

Grant Value118433
Commencement Date / Completion Date1 December 2019 - 31 January 2021
Contributors Dr Luis Velasco-Pufleau (Principle Investigator)
Funders [4] Swiss National Science Foundation
KeywordsMusic technology; Music; Music ontologies; Sound activism; Musicology; Twentieth century; Twenty-first century; Politics; Ethics; Music ecology; Marxism; Cosmopolitanism; Sound Studies
Publications Velasco-Pufleau, Luis; Paredes, Hilda (2020). On Music and Political Concerns: An Interview with Hilda Paredes. Revista Vórtex, 8(2), pp. 1-22. Universidade Estadual do Paraná 10.33871/23179937.2020.8.2.16
Velasco-Pufleau, Luis; Manoury, Philippe (2020). ‘It is important artists react to the world in which we all live’: An interview with Philippe Manoury on Lab.Oratorium. Tempo : a quarterly review of modern music, 74(293), pp. 6-13. Cambridge Univ. Press 10.1017/s0040298220000224
Velasco-Pufleau, Luis (2020). Sampling Sounds of War. In: Liechti, Hannes; Burkhalter, Thomas; Rhensius, Philipp (eds.) Sampling Politics Today. Norient Sound Series: Vol. 1. Bern: Norient
Velasco-Pufleau, Luis (2020). Sampler la guerre : The End of Silence. In: Music, Sound and Conflict.
Velasco Pufleau, Luis (2022). Musique et violence : questions d’épistémologie (In Press). In: Joubert, Muriel; Touzé, Denis le (eds.) La Violence en musique. Mélotonia (pp. 107-112). Lyon: Presses Universitaires de Lyon

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