The spatial expansion of modernity, beginning with the voyages of discovery of the fifteenth century, was complemented by that of tonal space. The tensions of centre and periphery were played out both in tonality and in the geography of musical life—witness the rise of nationalism in the later nineteenth century, orientalism, and the globalization of music in the twentieth. Music’s apparent denial of its link to urban modernity masks a deep engagement with the experience of the city through the metaphor of the labyrinth. Similarly, music’s mediation of technology is concomitant with the history of instrumental music long before Futurism (witness the cases of both the piano and the symphony orchestra). This is particularly acute in musical automata which fascinate modernity from Descartes onwards. In ballet, opera, and instrumental works, music evidences a profound engagement with relays between the organic and the mechanical body.
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