1843-06-06

Technology Is Killing Music

This eternal piano-playing is too much to bear! … These shrill tinkle-tones with no natural resonance, these heartless whirring-tones, this arch-prosaic rumbling and hacking — the fortepiano is killing all our thoughts and feelings, and we are becoming stupid, dull, imbecilic. This prevalence of piano playing, not to speak of the triumphal march of the piano virtuosos, is characteristic of our time and truly bears witness to the victory of machine over spirit. Technical proficiency, the precision of an automaton, the identification with strung wood, the sonic instrumentalization of human beings, is now hailed and celebrated as the highest good.”

Heinrich Heine Paris, 1843


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