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224 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1944
“They are not childlike, as might be expected on the basis of an interpretation of the new type of listener in terms of the introduction to musical life of groups previously unacquainted with music. But they are childish; their primitivism is not that of the undeveloped, but that of the forcibly retarded. . . . They are not merely turned away from more important music, but they are conﬁrmed in their neurotic stupidity, quite irrespective of how their musical capacities are related to the speciﬁc musical culture of earlier social phases. . . . Together with sport and ﬁlm, mass music and the new listening help to make escape from the whole infantile milieu impossible.”
“There is actually a neurotic mechanism of stupidity in listening, too; the arrogantly ignorant rejection of everything unfamiliar is its sure sign. Regressive listeners behave like children. Again and again and with stubborn malice, they demand the one dish they have once been served.
A sort of musical children’s language is prepared for them; it diﬀers from the real thing in that its vocabulary consists exclusively of fragments and distortions of the artistic language of music. In the piano scores of hit songs, there are strange diagrams. They relate to guitar, ukelele and banjo, as well as the accordion—infantile instruments in comparison with the piano—and are intended for players who cannot read the notes.” (!!!)