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Listening in Paris: A Cultural History
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Listening in Paris: A Cultural History

3.75 of 5 stars 3.75  ·  rating details  ·  24 ratings  ·  4 reviews
Beginning with the simple question, "Why did audiences grow silent?" Listening in Paris gives a spectator's-eye view of opera and concert life from the Old Regime to the Romantic era, describing the transformation in musical experience from social event to profound aesthetic encounter. James H. Johnson recreates the experience of audiences during these rich decades with br ...more
Paperback, 363 pages
Published December 4th 1996 by University of California Press (first published December 14th 1994)
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183rd out of 431 books — 430 voters
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France..and Paris!
165th out of 180 books — 83 voters

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Listening in Paris is a cultural “history of perception” examining the era 1750-1850 during which time French spectators transformed from a chatty, distracted audience to a quiet and engaged listening public. His analytical framework, which Johnson attributes to idealist philosophy, places the listener at the center of the historical narrative and takes the stance that musical meaning does not reside in the score (or authorial intention) but in the specific moment of reception—a discursively sh ...more
It was a good read. I really liked like how the author tried to explain how the behaviors of audiences changed in Parisian opera houses.
Etha Williams
Excellent and above all entertainingly written account of Parisian opera & concert life in the 18th and 19th centuries.
This is very much not my field, but Johnson makes the history both interesting and a fluid read. I highly recommend
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