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date: 30 November 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Why, and how, did Germans listen to symphonic music during the Second World War? This chapter focuses on wartime Munich, where there was a strong increase in performances owing to expanded demand by listeners. Most work on concert-hall life in this period echoes clichéd claims regarding the relation between culture and barbarism; this chapter seeks instead to explore the everydayness of the practice, which embodied a social habit that remained fundamentally unchanged from before the war and continued unchanged after it. One might speak in this context of the “regime of listening” that governed behavioral norms in the Western concert hall more generally. In this sense, the chapter argues that it is easier to make sense of how and why Germans listened to music during the war if we worry less about their nationality and concentrate more on the connection of this phenomenon to sensory cultures in the period more broadly.

Keywords: bourgeois identity, concert-hall listening, listening behavior, Munich, Second World War

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