Sounds of Modern History: Auditory Cultures in 19th- and 20th-Century Europe | BERGHAHN BOOKS
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Sounds of Modern History: Auditory Cultures in 19th- and 20th-Century Europe

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Sounds of Modern History

Auditory Cultures in 19th- and 20th-Century Europe

Edited by Daniel Morat

352 pages, 17 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78238-421-2 $145.00/£107.00 / Hb / Published (September 2014)

ISBN  978-1-78533-349-1 $34.95/£27.95 / Pb / Published (November 2016)

eISBN 978-1-78238-422-9 eBook

View CartYour country: - edit Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format)Recommend to your LibraryAvailable in GOBI®


“The decentring of music from the privileged site at which questions about listening are asked makes room for broader questions about the relationship between sound and culture. By thinking about sonic practices as a means of answering larger historical and cultural questions the volume challenges the narrower theoretical approaches to sound often taken in the field of sound studies.” · Contemporary European History

“…this highly readable and well-sequenced text synthesises key research on the history of sound, bringing the work of the burgeoning field’s seminal figures into dialogue with that of emerging scholars of the history of European sound cultures.” · Melbourne Historical Journal

“As a whole, this collection provides a fine introduction to Sound Studies for historians of modern Europe and, at the same time, contributes new material to the growing body of work in this field. The collective work on World War I is perhaps the most original and compelling, but there is excellent scholarship throughout.” · German History

“…presents an excellent contribution to the social studies of sound...In contrast to the more common ocular-centricity of the history of the senses, this book explores the social dimensions of sound as an independent and new area of research." · Sounds of Modern History

“…represents a significant contribution to the ongoing process of defining the comparatively young field of 'Sound History'. As the editor notes in his introduction, the field is still characterized by a multitude of different perspectives, and a corresponding range of approaches such that even a stable set of terminologies have yet to be settled upon… This book does an excellent job of show-casing the variety of possibilities and potentials present in the field, and is to be thoroughly recommended on those grounds alone.” · Sehepunkte

“Sound has to be recognized as another, co-modifying factor of the multi-sensory world. Thanks to the publisher, the editor, and all the contributors to Sounds of Modern History, sound now receives this long-missed recognition. I have to congratulate everyone involved in this project, as it opens up new perspectives and adds great depth and variety to contemporary soundscape studies.” · CritCom. Journal of Reviews & Critical Commentar

“This is a timely intervention in sound studies, one of the most innovative fields to have emerged in the past 10 years. It brings together work by some established figures in the field (e.g. Mark Smith), but also essays by emerging scholars… One of the key aspects of the collection is the focus on aurality as part of a wider history of modernity.” · Veit Erlmann, University of Texas at Austin

Sounds of Modern History offers a strong collection of essays, by younger as well as established scholars, bringing the vanguard of European sound studies scholarship in direct dialogue with… scholarship focused on North America.” · Art Blake, Ryerson University


Long ignored by scholars in the humanities, sound has just begun to take its place as an important object of study in the last few years. Since the late 19th century, there has been a paradigmatic shift in auditory cultures and practices in European societies. This change was brought about by modern phenomena such as urbanization, industrialization and mechanization, the rise of modern sciences, and of course the emergence of new sound recording and transmission media. This book contributes to our understanding of modern European history through the lens of sound by examining diverse subjects such as performed and recorded music, auditory technologies like the telephone and stethoscope, and the ambient noise of the city.

Daniel Morat is a Research Fellow and Lecturer in the History Department of the Free University Berlin. He currently holds a Dilthey Fellowship from the Fritz Thyssen Foundation, and since 2012 has directed the international research network “Auditory Knowledge in Transition: An Epistemic History of Listening in Modernity.” His publications include Von der Tat zur Gelassenheit. Konservatives Denken bei Martin Heidegger, Ernst Jünger und Friedrich Georg Jünger 1920-1960 (Göttingen 2007).

Subject: History: 18th/19th CenturyHistory: 20th Century to PresentMedia Studies
Area: Europe


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