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Haydn's Sunrise, Beethoven's ShadowAudiovisual Culture and the Emergence of Musical Romanticism$
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Deirdre Loughridge

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226337098

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226337128.001.0001

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From Mimesis to Prosthesis

From Mimesis to Prosthesis

(p.25) One From Mimesis to Prosthesis
Haydn's Sunrise, Beethoven's Shadow

Deirdre Loughridge

University of Chicago Press

This chapter shows how technologies for extending vision opened up new ways of listening, and specifically of interpreting muted tone and improvisatory qualities in Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 5. It examines Haydn’s Il mondo della luna and Grétry’s Zémire et Azor to show the analogy forged between muted tone and technologically mediated, or prosthetic vision in late eighteenth-century opera. It also examines analogies drawn between magnifying instruments and keyboard fantasizing in philosophical and literary texts. On the basis of these, the chapter shows how telescopes and microscopes helped configure an alliance between muted tone, immobile listening and access to the otherwise imperceptible that became characteristic of musical romanticism.

Keywords:   telescope, microscope, violin mute, keyboard fantasy, Ludwig van Beethoven, Joseph Haydn

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