twentieth-century music

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Appendix: Fundamental Issues of Musical Listening (1925)



The essay is based on the Habilitation lecture delivered by the author on 3 November 1925 in Freiburg im Breisgau. (HB) Besseler's lecture bore the title ‘Grundprobleme des musikalischen Hörens’. The text was first published, with the now familiar title ‘Grundfragen des musikalischen Hörens’, in Jahrbuch der Musikbibliothek Peters 32 (1926), 35–52. It has since been reprinted in Dopheide (ed.), Musikhören, 48–73, and in Besseler, Aufsätze, 29–53. This translation appears by kind permission of Edition Peters, Leipzig, and the University of Leipzig (acting on behalf of the estate of Heinrich Besseler). I would like to express gratitude to Irene Auerbach, who undertook a number of detailed revisions of the text. If the final result in any way succeeds in keeping a balance between textual fidelity and the (somewhat pressing) need to enhance the clarity of Besseler's style, then she is responsible; failings on this score are my own. (MP)