Chapter

Escaping the Urban Din

John Goodyear

in Germany in the Loud Twentieth Century

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199759392
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918911 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199759392.003.0001
Escaping the Urban Din

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At the outset of the twentieth century, the new noisy urban soundscape was a source of fascination and frustration. For the frustrated, for those attempting to escape the urban din, help would soon be at hand. Two men embarked on novel projects in 1908 to bring peace and quiet to the noisy urban world. Theodor Lessing’s Antilärmverein, a socio-political initiative to fight noise, would be short-lived, lasting just three years; yet Maximilian Negwer’s Ohropax earplugs would stand the test of time and offer relief to those frustrated by noise right into the twenty-first century. This social historical study compares the two initiatives, their strategies, their approaches, and establishes why Lessing failed and Negwer succeeded.

Keywords: Theodor Lessing; Maximilian Negwer; Ohropax; earplugs; urban noise

Chapter.  7829 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Musicology and Music History

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