Listening to music is listening to all noise, understanding that its appropriation and control is a reflection of power, that it is essentially political… Theorists of totalitarianism have explained that it is necessary to ban subversive noise because it emphasizes the demands of cultural autonomy, the support of differences and marginality: a concern in maintaining tonalism, the primacy of melody, the distrust in new languages, codes and instruments is common to all regimes of this nature.
At the beginning of the 19th century, aesthetics was used as a tool of political control: managing popular music to impose social rules.
Through very modest salaries, a considerable number of musicians would be hired, equipped with always well-tuned instruments and who would only perform good music. Those singers gifted with manly and virile voices, would make the people listen to nothing but patriotic anthems and songs whose lyrics, sternly chaste, would celebrate the noble virtues and generous actions for which the people have a natural feeling. Instead of singing the inebriation of the wine and the voluptuousness of brute passions, people would hear praise for the love of labour, sobriety, economy, charity and for the love of humanity.
The first avant-garde movement that incorporated the technological presence into its imagery was Futurism. In February 1909 Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, in the fundamental manifesto of Futurism, demanded a change in the sensitivity of Italian artists. He attacked museums – “tombs of art” – and institutions, the remains of romanticism and neoclassicism. He glorified war and youth; he demanded speed and machines, violence and energy. He opted for populist politics and a culture proper to a mechanised society.
Attali Jacques, NOISE: The Political Economy of Music (1977)
Javier Blanquéz and Omar Morera, LOOPS: Una historia de la música electrónica (2002)