Popular Music History, Vol 5, No 2 (2010)

To Flood the Basin with Beethoven: The Promethean Aesthetics of Post-World War II FM Concert Stations in the United States

Tim J. Anderson
Issued Date: 21 Nov 2011

Abstract


This article focuses on the specific aesthetic formation resulting after the reorganization of the FM segment of the electromagnetic spectrum in the American post-WWII period of the late 1940s and 1950s. FM's distinction in this period was as an emergent alternative space that promoted itself with a rhetoric that emphasized the medium as a more democratic, less commercial mode of communication and musical exhibition. This article looks at a combination of programming guides, trade press and general press sources to understand how this rhetoric manifested itself through programming, ownership, FM audiences and their aesthetic expectations that influenced the development of the much heralded American FM freeform radio formats throughout the 1960s and 1970s

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DOI: 10.1558/pomh.v5i2.151

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