chapter  2
23 Pages

Emotional ear drops

The music industry and technologies of emotional management
ByOri Schwarz

The belief that music has power over people's emotions is as at least as old as Aristotle, and probably even older, and composers have long explored the emotional effects of music and exploited them; yet for most of human history music was not available for private consumption. In order to understand the music industry as an emotional industry, that is, to study cultural objects as both commodities and affective objects, people must concentrate on consumption techniques and modes of attention, the practices that produce these effects. When first offered by Bingham in the 1920s, the pharmaceutical usage of music to optimize mood with its scientific pretensions was hardly more than a curiosity. Ninety years later, however, it has become a viable cultural option. In 2012 Columbia psychiatrist Galina Mindlin co-authored a self-help book entitled Your Playlist Can Change Your Life.