The Oxford Handbook of Music Listening in the 19th and 20th Centuries

This handbook takes on the task of examining the history of music listening over the past two hundred years. It uses the “art of listening” as a leitmotif encompassing an entanglement of interdependent practices and discourses about a learnable mode of perception. The art of listening first emerged around 1800 and was adopted and adapted across the public realm to suit a wide range of collective listening situations from popular to serious art forms up to the present day. Because this is a relatively new subject in historical research, the volume combines case studies from several disciplines in order to investigate whether, how, and why practices of music listening changed. Focusing on a diverse set of locations and actors and using a range of historical sources, it attempts to historicize and reconstruct the evolution of listening styles to show the wealth of variants in listening. In doing so, it challenges the inherited image of the silent listener as the dominant force in musical cultures.

Oxford University Press
Online edition 2018