History of Listening

Emmy Noether Research Group


The individual projects that we are working on all focus on a phenomenon that has an exasperating tendency to elude historical description: the history of music listening, a subject only recently (re)introduced into the canon of the humanities. Our aim is to overcome both the traditional psychometric approach and recently developed social- and cultural-historical approaches to listening. We believe that this will lead to a more precise differentiation between those aspects of listening that are indeed invariant, and those subject to historical change. Ultimately, we strive to find a “third way”: a way that takes us beyond the irreconcilable extremes of total universalisation on the one hand and total historicisation on the other. If we succeed, this interdisciplinary method should considerably enhance our understanding of the divergent rational and ontological forms that listening assumed from the enlightenment to the present day.


HU Berlin DFG

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