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The Concert Hall as Refuge in a Restless, Web-Driven World

Distractions: Snapping a photograph with an iPad after a performance at Carnegie Hall.KARSTEN MORAN FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

Distractions: Snapping a photograph
with an iPad after a performance
at Carnegie Hall.
KARSTEN MORAN FOR THE NEW YORK TIMES

For all the wonders of the web, it “threatens habits of deeper inquiry,” Ian Leslie argues in “Curious: The Desire to Know and Why Your Future Depends on It.” This book is among a growing number exploring what might be lost as we “lean on search engines and offload our memories to cloud storage,” to quote a review of four contributions to the topic last year by Jacob Silverman in The New York Times.

Among them, the one that seems most pertinent to my field, classical music, is Michael Harris’s “The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection.” The book considers whether the Internet is eroding our attention spans. And you can’t listen to a 20-minute Haydn string quartet, let alone an 80-minute Mahler symphony, without having a pretty good attention span. Full story.

Anthony Tommasini (The New York Times) / September 13, 2015

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