From the BBC Proms to Bernstein's Young People's Concerts, initiatives to promote classical music have been a pervasive feature of twentieth-century musical life. The goal of these initiatives was rarely just to reach a larger and more diverse audience but to teach a particular way of listening that would help the public "appreciate" music. This book examines for the first time how and why music appreciation has had such a defining and long-lasting impact—well beyond its roots in late-Victorian liberalism. It traces the networks of music educators, philanthropists, policy-makers, critics, composers, and musicians who, rather than resisting new mass media, sought to harness their pedagogic potential; and explores how listening became embroiled in a nexus of modern problems around citizenship, leisure, and education. In so doing, it ultimately reveals how a new cultural milieu—the middlebrow—emerged at the heart of Britain's experience of modernity.