Music theory has a reputation for neglecting bodily, tactile aspects of musical experience. A closer look, however, reveals that sonic ‘physicality’, the fascination with the (physiological) perception of sound, has been a critical issue of music-theoretical discourse ever since antiquity and Aristoxenus’ insistence on aisthesis as a complement of logoi in his Elementa Harmonica1-although eventually the latter was to become the model that dominated the discipline at least until the sixteenth century. Indeed, before the close interaction between music theory and music or tone psychology (signifi cantly emerging from tone ‘physiology’) in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries,2 which was guided not least by the joint endeavour to thoroughly understand the perception of tonal music, most major music theorists had granted that aural experience functioned prominently within their models of tonal music organisation. During the advent of work-centred musical analysis in the early nineteenth century, for example, Gottfried Weber had introduced ‘the ear’ as the ultimate judge for his meticulous segmentation of musical syntax.3 Although this invocation of the organ of hearing arguably was still largely conceived as “separated from the individual who listens” and thus, in the epistemological tradition of Rameau’s theory, constructed a “privileged domain of knowledge” explaining “subjective experience . . . through being derived from a reality that is cognitively inaccessible to the individual”,4 the dominating role of a minutely described auditory sensation signalled a new dimension in the impact of the body on theory. In the same period, the ‘shivers’ and similar bodily reactions experienced due to the novel eff ects of the latest music-explicated in a highly technical manner-amounted to major tropes in writings at the borders of theory and aesthetics.5 More generally, several recent studies have highlighted the signifi cance of the body in theories throughout music history, including medieval as well as new music since the 1970s, prominently motivated by Roland Barthes’ infl uential essays on the presence of the body in (classical-romantic) music.6