History of Listening

Emmy Noether Research Group

Philosophy and History of Listening

Dr. Nikolaus Bacht

The lead project of our research group is a broad historiographical one and follows the famous dictum according to which generalisation and periodisation are “false, but important”. I take actual listening experience, as far as it can be reconstructed, along with music theorists’ and philosophers’ ideas about listening, and test them against one another. Starting in the late eighteenth century, I work all the way up to the present day, analysing the vast array of different sources dialectically in order to make comparisons possible that I do consider to be important and that will hopefully not turn out to be entirely false.

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