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Listening in Paris: A Cultural History (Studies on the History of Society and Culture)

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0520206489
ISBN-10: 0520206487
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"A helpful survey of both enduring and emerging themes."--"Religious Studies Review

From the Back Cover

This book grew from a simple question. Why did French audiences become silent? Eighteenth-century travelers' accounts of the Paris Opera and memoirs of concertgoers describe a busy, preoccupied public, at times loud and at others merely sociable, but seldom deeply attentive.
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Product Details

  • Series: Studies on the History of Society and Culture (Book 21)
  • Paperback: 363 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press (December 4, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520206487
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520206489
  • Product Dimensions: 5.9 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #871,055 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By A Customer on June 12, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is a fascinating account of musical life in Paris between 1750 and 1850. Although Johnson is trying to discover why opera audiences became silent during this period, he has a lot more than just silence on his mind. The book explores the decline of aristocratic control over music and its take-over by bourgeois audiences; it also traces how music moved from being a cerebral experience to an emotional one. Johnson writes extremely well, and knows how to pick appropriate and witty anecdotes to keep the text moving along. This is one of the few books that both academic scholars and ordinary readers should be able to appreciate and enjoy; it is easily one of the best books on music history to come along in years, and fun to read as well.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The overwhelming majority of books about classical music deal primarily with the composers' lives and/or the nature of their music. This book concentrates on the audiences: their changing expectations, evolution of concert settings and social conventions , and many more considerations that have helped define how audiences today approach live music performances.

I agree with all the previous reviewer 's comments. I read the book in its paperback form, but I'm buying now for my Kindle reader so that I can easily copy quotations to send to friends for discussion.
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