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2015 | 1 | 42-51

Article title

„Mikroskop dla uszu”. O XIX-wiecznym słuchaniu Chopina



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In Paris in the first half of the 19th century, the social and urban changes were accompanied by the development of two basic sonic strategies: the first (represented by Berlioz, Musard, Liszt and others, who conquered the mass public in large concert halls) was aimed at competing with the ever more aggressive, modern city soundscape, while the second (represented among others by Chopin) relied on an intimate contact between the artist and listeners gathered in a modestly sized salon. The salon becomes a ‘microscope for ears’, and Chopin’s improvisations may be read as a stream of consciousness. Listening to those improvisations in half­darkness, receiving the sound with the entire body, and ascribing to the music a mission from ‘ideal’ worlds is testimony to certain ways of musical listening being maintained, and simultaneously a change in music’s position within the hierarchy of arts, as well as a crystallization of a modern social distinction that perspired in the disciplining of the listener’s body and constructing his or her class and environmental ‘sonic identity’.



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