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Title: Heinrich Schenker and the radio
Author: Hewlett, Kirstie
ISNI:       0000 0004 5355 7283
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2014
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Heinrich Schenker (1868–1935) had a radio installed in his home on 19th October 1924 – less than three weeks after the inauguration of Radio Wien, Austria’s first Official radio station. Almost overnight it became his primary source of exposure to the cultural life of Vienna, with references to over 1,000 broadcasts of concerts, plays and talks appearing in his diary from the day his receiver was installed until his death in January 1935. This abundant record of his listening habits offers a rare glimpse into the breadth of Schenker’s private interests. Not only do his accounts of broadcasts touch on an eclectic array of music dating from the Middle Ages to the present day as well as a variety of spoken-word programmes, they also illuminate how he used this novel technology to increase his access to the arts. He embraced the unprecedented opportunity that radio afforded to broadly survey contemporary performance practice, to revisit repertory he had not heard for many years and to explore music by composers whose work he had otherwise solely encountered in scores or reviews. Indeed, contrary to Schenker’s self-portrayal as a misanthrope, utterly disillusioned by the culture of his time, his radio summaries give the impression of someone who took a lively interest in all aspects of culture, exploring genres and art forms far beyond his specialism. They depict a man who not only sought enlightenment in music, but even diversion. Schenker’s decade-long record of his listening habits affords rare insight into the practical significance that technologies such as radio had for his generation of musicians. This thesis explores how his relationship with radio evolved, charting its transition from being a resource that radically transformed his access to the arts to a source of respite in the final years of his life.
Supervisor: Drabkin, William Sponsor: Arts and Humanities Research Council
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: M Music