»Time has come today«. Special Time Patterns of Pop-Musical Chronotopes and their Impact on the Temporal Differentiation of Life Worlds since the 1960s
An essential trait of music is its temporal structure. Through music, time perception is manipulated and shaped in manifold ways. In the twentieth century, popular music became everpresent in everyday life. Aesthetic innovation in popular music depends on the acceptance of new musical expression by a public that is both socially ubiquitous and at the same time highly differentiated. Presentation, perception, and praxis in popular music come to rest on situational relationships between aesthetic and social time patterns. What is more, changing public preferences enable and channel new musical forms, as new time-bound forms they are incorporated into everyday life and perform social orientation functions.
Particularly in phases of social and cultural change this becomes manifest. The historic focus of this project therefore lies in the 1960s to the 1980s in West-Germany. The cultural changes of these years were, according to a widespread opinion, accompanied and symbolized by popular music. Taking up a claim from the program of the SPP, the important assumption introduced here is that popular music, as an aesthetic praxis, not only symbolizes, but even shapes social and cultural change. With this, the project contributes to the material foundation of the revision of established concepts of modernity, as suggested by the program of the Priority Programme.
The project examines perceptional, technical, material and musical forms on the basis of concrete phenomena, including self-referential levels of time, and a linkage with social time patterns, such as biographies, patterns of time usage, social change, group-specific and local time. In this respect, the project aims at a theoretical reflection of the aesthetic and social time structures created in the context of popular music. For this purpose, an elaborate concept of pop-musical chronotopes will be developed, following and enhancing Bachtin’s concept. It indicates a focal point of the culture of popular music, that is to say spatiotemporal arrangements that are constituted by musical experience. Two examples of pop-musical chronotopes are to be examined in particular: The »progressive rural disco« (1965–1980) and the »ruins of negativity« (1975–1988). The concept of pop-musical experience describes, on a theoretical level, a kind of psychic and situational involvement which is part of both aesthetic time patterns, and everyday processes. This experience therefore mediates social and aesthetic time patterns. Participants in these pop-musical chronotopes will be interviewed regarding their impressions about the consistency between musical and social forms. Historical sources will also be analyzed. In both types of analysis the corresponding, diverging and interacting aspects of aesthetic presentation will be evaluated for social time patterns.