How To Listen To Music

It’s difficult to go anywhere without encountering music in some form throughout your day, and indeed many people actively seek out music at any opportunity. But there are many ways of listening to music…

It’s Music, Of Course

For avid music fans, listening to music is something of a default condition; wherever you go, you’re probably listening to headphones on the way there, and when you arrive the first thing you do is turn on the stereo.

But even for such listeners, there is a range of listening modes that we flip between; highly engaged listening, when we put on a much-anticipated new album from a favourite artist, for example. Then there’s listening that forms a background for some other activity – perhaps reading, partying or dancing – and each of these is a distinct listening mode.

Having a certain degree of mindfulness whilst listening can add new dimensions to the experience, and perhaps bring a new mode of listening entirely.

Yale professor Craig Wright has a video series called ‘Listening to Music’ which you can watch on YouTube:

On another note, Evelyn Glennie is a deaf musician who listens to (and performs) music in a profoundly physical way – noting that all sound is merely physical vibration, so listening is essentially a sophisticated form of touch sensation…


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