Learning to Listen: Listening Pedagogies and Practices in Music and Rhetoric

Restricted (Penn State Only)
Adams, Sarah Elizabeth
Graduate Program:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
May 07, 2018
Committee Members:
  • Debra Hawhee, Dissertation Advisor/Co-Advisor
  • Debra Hawhee, Committee Chair/Co-Chair
  • Cheryl Jean Glenn, Committee Member
  • Jeffrey Nealon, Committee Member
  • Bradford James Vivian, Outside Member
  • R J David Frego, Outside Member
  • rhetoric
  • listening
  • music
  • embodied listening
  • rational listening
  • Leopold Stokowski
  • Eurhythmics
  • phonography
  • multimodal composition
  • elocution
  • applause
  • writing
  • composition
  • Emile Jaques-Dalcroze
Learning to Listen: Listening Pedagogies and Practices in Music and Rhetoric historicizes the attention paid in rhetorical scholarship to listening by examining listening pedagogies and practices in both the situation of classical music in the early twentieth century and throughout the history of rhetorical education. In the cases I examine in the three main chapters of this study, I look to speeches given in concert halls, pieces of music criticism, programs for orchestra concerts, advertisements, theoretical writings, and music education practices. My analysis of these artifacts reveals that multiple listening pedagogies circulated in the early twentieth century and that each listening pedagogy carried with it an attendant sense of how rhetoric works. In three interstitial chapters, I move across the history of rhetorical education, studying the ancient rhetorical education practices of the gymnasium, the elocutionary movement of the late seventeenth through early twentieth centuries, and the contemporary trend toward multimodal composition. These interstitial chapters demonstrate how listening pedagogies have been stitched into rhetoric and composition’s disciplinary history, if sometimes implicitly. This study argues that listening matters to how rhetoric is practiced and sensed, that listening practices can be taught, that historical sensory practices can be studied through historical pedagogical materials, and that training in listening should be a significant part of a contemporary rhetorical education.