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date: 22 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter analyzes why concert reformers in interwar Germany associated practices of listening with the notion of crisis and how this notion was affected by political, social, and economic changes. It also asks whether this period was, indeed, a watershed in the history of music listening. Starting with Adorno’s various descriptions of listening in crisis, the chapter traces the discourses and practices of listening in his hometown of Frankfurt am Main in order to show how manifest and perceived notions of crisis were used to legitimize traditions of listening and to invent strategies to counter their alleged decline. Using journalistic accounts and other contemporary sources, this chapter aims to reconstruct the perspectives of listeners and situate concert-hall experiences in their historical and cultural context.

Keywords: bourgeois identity, concert-hall listening, crisis of listening, Frankfurt am Main, ideal listener, listening behavior, reform, Theodor W. Adorno, Weimar Republic

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