Category Archives: Music and Torture

Torture and the Angel of History

Phil Ford Most of the discourse on music and torture has been about the use of music in torture, the most distinguished example being Suzanne Cusick’s JSAM essay, though I might also mention my own blog debate on the subject with Jonathan Bellman … Continue reading

Posted in Intellectuals, Music and Torture, Philosophy, Politics | 2 Comments

Torture again

Phil Ford For some reason, there’s an awful lot of people looking at the old posts in the music-and-torture debates that Jonathan and I had last summer. (Why is this?) [UPDATE: Apparently these links were posted to the AMS-list. OK, … Continue reading

Posted in Music and Torture, Politics | 2 Comments


Phil Ford Re. Jonathan’s latest: The rub of my disagreement with Jonathan is this: he believes that when music is used in torture, it is no longer music, but merely torture, and so there’s no point in talking about “music … Continue reading

Posted in Music and Torture, Politics

Music Blogging as Torture

Jonathan Bellman Phil chides me for my long (1074-word) blog of August 21—in which I took issue with a certain glib fatuousness in musicological discussions of torture, and a certain lame, head-in-the-sand do-goodism in academics’ responses to such things—and he … Continue reading

Posted in Academia, Current Affairs, Music and Torture, Philosophy | 2 Comments

Fluffy puppies

Phil Ford I’ve been reading Jonathan’s long post from the other day, which he bills as a “dissonant counterpoint”  to this post of mine, and I’m at a loss to figure out where, in those 1074 words, the “counter” part … Continue reading

Posted in Music and Torture, Politics | 5 Comments

Music as Torture: A Dissonant Counterpoint

Jonathan Bellman To raise a major moral issue like the use of music as a torture device (Phil’s August 20 blog “You like crazy drums?”) is on one hand a clarion call; of course this is serious, and why would … Continue reading

Posted in Current Affairs, Music and Torture, Politics, Sound | 5 Comments

You like crazy drums?

Phil Ford I’ve been meaning to write about The Big Combo for a while. The Big Combo is a 1954 film noir that’s now considered a small classic. But when it was made, few would have thought to consider it … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Film, Music and Torture, Politics, Pop Aesthetics | 8 Comments