Friedl, Reinhold


Some Sadomasochistic Aspects of Musical Pleasure

Leonardo Music Journal: Vol. 12. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press: 29-30.


Language(s): English


Interdisciplinary Studies


In this brief article, the author suggests that a dynamic of sadomasochistic pleasure is at work in contemporary music. The rise both of compositions that equal a set of technical instructions and of perhaps impossible requirements upon performers can be seen to make the act of taking pleasure in their execution a form of masochism. The audiences of increasingly intellectualized musical styles could be said to enjoy a similar relationship to performance. And in the more physical “noise music”, the intended effect is often not auditory pleasure but suffering.