© 2014

Musical Revolutions in German Culture

Musicking against the Grain, 1800–1980

  • Authors

Part of the Studies in European Culture and History book series (SECH)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvi
  2. Mirko M. Hall
    Pages 1-24
  3. Mirko M. Hall
    Pages 25-51
  4. Mirko M. Hall
    Pages 81-107
  5. Mirko M. Hall
    Pages 109-136
  6. Mirko M. Hall
    Pages 137-147
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 149-214

About this book


Drawing upon the philosophical insights of Friedrich Schlegel, Walter Benjamin, Theodor W. Adorno, and Blixa Bargeld, this book explores the persistence of a critical-deconstructive approach to musical production, consumption, and reception in the German cultural sphere of the last two centuries.


culture Friedrich Schlegel philosophy revolution Romanticism Theodor W. Adorno

About the authors

Mirko M. Hall is Associate Professor of German Studies and Affiliate Faculty in Philosophy in the Department of Languages, Cultures, and Literatures at Converse College, USA.

Bibliographic information


“Hall’s book is engaging, stimulating and generative. … Hall provides readers with enough critical-musicking instruments to equip themselves as destructive musicians—or better, ‘destructive musickers’—in their own right. … Musical Revolutions is a compelling and well-crafted provocation for future scholars to ‘Bring the Noise.’” (Martin Law, Marx and Philosophy,, April, 2016)

"Hall interweaves music, philosophy, and politics in this book in order to challenge the reader with the same 'hermeneutic inexhaustibility' that the author also verifies in the 'counterhegemonic possibilities of music.' By exploring the concepts of 'dialectical sonority' and 'dialectical listening,' even within the context of so-called 'lower art,' Hall provides a very original and pioneering contribution through his critical-deconstructive philosophy of music. The subtitle, 'Musicking against the Grain,' not only depicts brilliantly the book's content, but also reflects the author's endeavor: thinking against the grain." - Mário Vieira de Carvalho, Professor Emeritus of Sociology of Music, Nova University of Lisbon, Portugal

"In four steps, spanning two centuries of German thought, Hall unlocks a fascinating genealogy of musicking, that broad spectrum of sonic phenomena ranging from listening to natural sounds and composing music to performing noise. Focused on sound's power to engender critical self-reflection, Hall masterfully links the Frankfurt School with its romantic predecessors and post-punk disciples, revealing musicking's historical situatedness, its incorporation of past discourses, and its anticipation of future practices now so ubiquitous in our digital present." - Richard Langston, Associate Professor of German Literature, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA