Max Weber played the piano more than a hundred years ago
Contributions for a contemporary revisiting of Weber’s sociology (of music)
Keywords:Max Weber, sociology of music, rationalisation, artificial intelligence (AI), digital creation
Music has always been a concern for sociology, and its classic authors attest to this. We begin this article – which is essayistic in nature – with a substantive analysis of this tradition that continues to (re)shape the sociology of music today. Amongst these classics, we would like to highlight its greatest name: Max Weber. In fact, this author developed a long-term analysis of Western music, especially with the advance of rationalisation, somewhat similar to his analyses of the spirit of capitalism and the genesis of bureaucracy in Europe in his study The Rational and Social Foundations of Music – written between 1912–1913 and published posthumously in 1921. We then establish a link between Weber's thesis and the sociology of music today, centring our analysis on contemporary music production through the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI), but also the digital universe more broadly. Weber's theoretical contributions are explored in relation to this, focusing on the interconnection between his concept of rationalisation and the emerging digitalisation of music – in particular, streaming services.
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