Music has often been used to symbolize and express ontological experiences. This article explores a mode of nineteenth-century self-audition where music captures a glimpse of the freedom that lies at the core of the subject. This mode of listening has intensified with the development of modern technology and is still prevalent in constructing the identity of the self. The opera scene from the Shawshank Redemption not only is an example of this special effect, but provides a narrative of how music achieves this affect, creating an ideal and virtual self through sound technology.

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