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Article in the peer-reviewed journal:
Acta Musicologica, 1/2005 (LXXVII/1), pp. 137-150

International Musicological Society
Basel, Kassel, London, New York, Praha: Bärenreiter
ISSN: 0001-6241



The first part of this article outlines the main features of globalization as a complex social phenomenon and the basic approaches to it by social scientists. The second part discusses the changes brought about by the technological developments taking place in a globalized system of reified social relations. This discussion affirms that the institutional changes - concerning mainly music production and distribution - and the structural changes of musical communication transform the reception of the artworks. Considering also the processes of transculturation, these changes form a new context for the creation of music, in an environment of global cultural exchanges. The third part of the article, analyzes the asymmetries and antinomies that result from the globalization of musical culture. The article ascertains that the formal democratization of musical life constitutes an essential feature of the modern musical culture on a global level. This situation favors the coexistence of risks and opportunities on a global and on a local level as well. The article maintains also that the economic, cultural and political aspects of these developments cannot be separated any more. Actually, the globalization of musical culture means globalization of the reified social relations in the cultural field.

This conclusion follows from analyses that appear in the international literature about the economic and cultural consequences of the predominance of global multimedia conglomerates, as well as from analyses of the unequal intellectual property system which these conglomerates impose on a global level. These circumstances construct a new framework for the mass media seen as institutions for the reproduction and distribution of music (and generally of artworks), and - consequently - as systems for the management of aesthetic values. The article arrives also at the conclusion that the developments under discussion create new possibilities for cultural action, interaction, and reaction.

Finally, the study points out some of the new challenges that emerge for the "traditional" musicology, the sociology of music, the theory of artistic education, and also for the cultural and educational policy.