Being Musically Attuned: The Act of Listening to Music, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Being Musically Attuned

The Act of Listening to Music, 1st Edition

By Erik Wallrup


286 pages

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Hardback: 9781472429902
pub: 2016-03-18
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Listening according to mood is likely to be what most people do when they listen to music. We want to take part in, or even be part of, the emerging world of the musical work. Using the sources of musical history and philosophy, Erik Wallrup explores this extremely vague and elusive phenomenon, which is held to be fundamental to musical hearing. Wallrup unfolds the untold musical history of the German word for ’mood’, Stimmung, which in the 19th century was abundant in the musical aesthetics of the German-Austrian sphere. Martin Heidegger’s much-discussed philosophy of Stimmung is introduced into the field of music, allowing Wallrup to realise fully the potential of the concept. Mood in music, or, to be more precise, musical attunement, should not be seen as a peculiar kind of emotionality, but that which constitutes fundamentally the relationship between listener and music. Exploring mood, or attunement, is indispensable for a thorough understanding of the act of listening to music.


"Wallrup’s analysis of music’s Stimmung is valuable precisely because it provokes such vital questions of meaning, value, and representation so sharply…Erik Wallrup’s sensitive and brilliantly conceived book is a compelling reminder of how and why we continually need to embrace that scholarly responsibility."

- Daniel Grimley, Merton College, Oxford, Music and Letters

Table of Contents

Part 1 The Concept: Stimmung in music: vicissitudes of a concept 1770-1930. The philosophy of Stimmung: upheaval and continuity. Playing in between. Part 2 Elucidation: History. Duration. Aftersong.

About the Author

Erik Wallrup is Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Stockholm University, Sweden. His fields of research are the philosophy of music and artistic research. Previously, he has published a book on Nietzsche’s philosophy of listening and two novels. He is also co-editor of the Swedish Journal of Music Research and editor at the Royal Swedish Academy of Music.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General
MUSIC / Ethnomusicology
PHILOSOPHY / Aesthetics