Student Scholar Symposium Abstracts and Posters

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 12-9-2015

Faculty Advisor(s)

Jessica Sternfeld


Imagine an intimate room filled with people playing cards and casually chatting, while one of Chopin’s piano sonatas plays elegantly in the background. This scenario is characteristic of the atmosphere surrounding Classical and Romantic European salons. Salons served as havens of musical discourse from the Baroque era to the early twentieth century. However, with the advancement of technology from the mid-twentieth century to the present, there has been a decline, or, arguably, even a cessation of salon life.

The aim of this project was to recreate the salon environment through the generation of the online discussion forum, "Music Soirée." To compare the successes and failures of this salon with those of earlier salons, statistics were gathered on the quantity of site views over the course of ten weeks. Historical research was also completed on Viennese salons of the late eighteenth century and on Parisian salons of the nineteenth century. Factors which have contributed to differences in salon gatherings include: the political climates surrounding particular salons, musical conventions, the changing role of the artist, and the geographic locations of salons themselves. The technological aspect of the twenty-first century salon represented in this project is incoherent with the geographic locations portion of the argument, as not everyone logged into the site to comment at one moment. It was consequently concluded that the implementation of technology in salon formation has resulted in musical discussions becoming more passive than active, as people were more engaged in reading the blog than in commenting.


Presented at the Fall 2015 Student Research Day at Chapman University and at the Commencement Ceremony for the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Program on August 13, 2015 at Chapman University.