Modes of Listening and their Implications to Audience Experience of Orchestral Concerts, with a Case Study of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra
Willshire, Catherine Anne
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Although listeners adopt similar behaviours according to sociocultural norms in the concert hall, they do not all experience an orchestral performance in the same way. Stockfelts theory of Adequate Modes of Listening provides the framework necessary to examine contemporary listening practices in the modern orchestral context, and provides an alternative to the dominant marketing paradigm. Using a representative case study of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, the current research performs interviews, document survey and analysis, and concert observation to answer questions such as; do facilitators, orchestra, and audience members agree on a single (or related group) of genre-normative modes of listening? What happens when there is a breakdown in the assumed sociocultural conventions? How can the orchestra facilitate its listeners? By examining the way in which a listener experiences orchestral music, we can strengthen our understanding of contemporary listening practices and develop nuanced approaches to promoting sustainable audiences.