Richard Sennett
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The sense of touch
in Western capitalism in transition
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For musicians, the sense of touch defines the physical experience of art: lips applied to reed, fingers pushing down keys or strings. A pianist or violinist has constantly to explore resistance, either in the instrument or in the playing body. This effort says something also about 'being in touch' in everyday life. There are many kinds of vibratos, some slow and liquid which colour long notes, some which last no more than an instant. The musical analogy to 'user-friendly' appears in one method for teaching beginning cellists to play in tune. It consists of plastering little bands of tape across the fingerboard, so that kids know exactly where to put their fingers. Romanticism provided a misleading vocabulary for the divide; musical notations such as innerlich or geistlich suggest that the musician's soul will at a particularly expressive moment withdraw to an immaterial, higher realm.

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Western capitalism in transition

Global processes, local challenges


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