Dissertation Projects

Christian Weining

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Christian Weining studied Communication and Cultural Studies at the Zeppelin University in Friedrichshafen and the University of Latvia in Riga. In his thesis and research work, he dealt with the literary field of listener typologies, the connection between philosophical and empirical models of aesthetic experience and analysed the field of empirical literature on the concert experience. In a research project on non-visitors of cultural institutions, which he developed and carried out with Prof. Dr. Martin Tröndle as part of a seminar, he analysed the visiting behaviour to cultural institutions of Berlin students (see publications).

From September 2017 to December 2018 he was a student assistant at the WÜRTH Chair of Cultural Production, from October 2017 to June 2018 assistant at the Bodenseefestival and from June to August 2019 part of the concert organisation team of the Schleswig-Holstein Music Festival. Currently, he is working as project coordinator and research assistant for the interdisciplinary research project Experimental Concert Research (ECR), through which he is also completing his doctorate dissertation project.

Dissertation Project

In his doctoral thesis, Christian Weining investigates the connection between an individual way of listening to music and the experience of the classical concert in a multi-methodical way. In the music-psychological and sociological literature, typifications are often used to determine musical listening behaviour—however, it is rare that the situational context in which the listening experience is made is taken into account.

It can be assumed that the way of listening has a decisive influence on the concert experience and that different listening styles are evoked depending on the concert format. In order to investigate this assumption, listening styles typical for the classical concert will be identified, based on the modes of reception of an opera audience according to Rössel (2011). These listening styles will then be further analysed with regard to their relation to the experience and different concert formats.

Through the interdisciplinary research project Experimental Concert Research (ECR), data from 800 concert visitors will be collected using standardised questionnaires, physiological measurements, qualitative interviews as well as video recordings. The specifically-organised concert series will be conducted as a scientific experiment in the ecologically valid setting of a classical concert. The variation of several concert formats within this series provides the opportunity to investigate the influence of the respective format variations.

With the aim of integrating different methods and against the background of the aesthetic experience’s complexity, both the quantitative and qualitative data obtained will be included in the analysis. The question of typical ways of listening in concert environments and their connection with the overall experience can thus be examined in a promising and multi-perspective way.


  • Tröndle, Martin / Weining, Christian / Sailer, Anniken / Tschacher, Wolfgang: (Nicht)Besucher quantitativ gesehen, in: Martin Tröndle (Hrsg.): Nicht-Besucherforschung. Audience Development für Kultureinrichtungen, Wiesbaden, Springer VS, 2019, (Edition WÜRTH Chair of Cultural Production). Link to publication
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