“Concerttypen. Eine Humoreske,” drawing by A. Palm, Illustrirte Zeitung, June 6, 1874, no. 1614.
Project (2015-)

Observing Concert Hall Listeners: Outline of a History of Journalistic Typologies of Listening, 1870–1940

Since the establishment of the modern symphony concert around 1800, the musical experience has been mediated through journalistic observation. Over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, journalists were in a unique position to report on listening, bringing together observations that reflected on the music itself, the listening space, and the concert hall visitors. Their reports were attempts to think about the listeners’ approach to music, including physical gestures, modes of self-representation, collective mood, and so on. As they wrote, journalists constructed listener types through which they hoped to better understand social practices. This project studies such observation techniques and their uses as cognitive tools to create and establish social knowledge about order and hierarchy in society. It asks how journalistic discourse on listening and the listener, established in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, underpinned the emergence of the new academic disciplines of music education and music sociology in the mid-twentieth century.


Ziemer, H. (2017). Konzerthörer unter Beobachtung: Skizze für eine Geschichte journalistischer Hörertypologien zwischen 1870 und 1940. In Netzwerk "Hör-Wissen im Wandel" (Ed.), Wissensgeschichte des Hörens in der Moderne (pp. 183-206). Berlin: De Gruyter. doi:10.1515/9783110523720-008.

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Morat, D., Tkaczyk, V., & Ziemer, H. (2017). Einleitung. In Netzwerk "Hör-Wissen im Wandel" (Ed.), Wissensgeschichte des Hörens in der Moderne (pp. 1-19). Berlin: De Gruyter. doi:10.1515/9783110523720-001.

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