Sophie Maisonneuve

Per una socio-storia dell'ascolto. Situazione, metodi, prospettive

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This paper first outlines the recent field of the sociology and history of listening. Whilst Adorno was the first author to address this issue, his treatment left some theoretical and methodological apories that have been investigated only in the past two decades. The new orientation taken by recent works shows the complexity of an object that lies at the crossing point of musicology, history and sociology as it is at the core of aesthetics and society, self and collectivity, feelings and materiality, and is hence theoretically and methodologically stimulating for these disciplins. Based on this observation, the paper then offers an analysis of the joint invention of the record as a medium for music and of a new aural culture at the beginning of the twentieth century. Investigating at the same time the definition of listening and the possible methods and sources of its study, it suggests that this process results from the joint production of objects and discourses, bodily proficiencies and technological formats: listening appears as a highly dynamical, collective and at the same time individualised, technological and aesthetical process that encourages disciplins to redefine their borders and usual categories.

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