Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 22 January 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Johann Nikolaus Forkel’s Ueber die Theorie der Musik (1777) is one of the earliest music guides aimed specifically at listeners. Nature, he argues, is not the best guide for listening; only a thorough knowledge of the elements of music will help music lovers understand what they hear. Forkel promises to elevate amateurs to the level of connoisseurs. An unpublished manuscript of Forkel’s university lectures based on Ueber die Theorie der Musik allows us to reconstruct his vision of the ideal listener in greater detail. These lectures advocate a fundamental shift in the relationship between the listener and the musical work. Forkel speaks repeatedly of the demands made by music on its audiences and the listener’s responsibility to understand the work. The idea that a concert audience member might have a responsibility to develop a skill that can be refined and developed marks the beginning of a new and fundamentally modern attitude toward the art of listening.

Keywords: ideal listening, instruction in listening, Johann Nikolaus Forkel, listening behavior, types of listener

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.