How To Listen To Music

Most people listen to music through their ears…and because every ear is different, we probably perceive the same sounds in slightly different ways. However, as Evelyn Glennie points out, there is much more to listening than what comes through our ears, and more to performance than simply following a series of dots on a sheet…

On Deaf Ears

Evelyn Glennie is generally acknowledged to be the first person to develop a full-time career as a solo percussionist, performing about 100 concerts per year. Perhaps more remarkable is the fact that she has been profoundly deaf since age 12.

Although she does have some limited hearing, she often performs concerts barefoot to enable her to better feel the music. She encourages people to listen to music not only with their ears, but with every part of their body… particularly in the case of musicians, whose intimate contact with their instruments allows for extra sensory feedback that often passes unnoticed.

Interpreting Music Versus Reading Music

The following TED talk shows Glennie demonstrating the importance of musical interpretation in performance. This may be of particular interest to computer musicians who create their tracks by programming – if you find that your music is lacking a certain vivacity, it may be time to introduce some more interpretation and live performance to the mix.


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