Listening Habits

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MUSI C L I S T E N I N G H A B I T S A N D D E V I C E S
history and evolution

Science and Liberal arts 5th - 9th Feb. ’11 Prof:. Preety trivedi National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad

Music listening habits and devices

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MUSI C L I S T E N I N G H A B I T S A N D D E V I C E S
history and evolution
“[M]usic is a communication between minds, and nobody can expect fully to enjoy listening to any large-scale work, be it a symphony, a sonata or a concerto, unless he has at least a basic knowledge of form and its relevance to musical thought…. Perhaps the hardest thing for the untrained ear to grasp is what might be termed the architectural aspects of a major composition.”1

Anthony hopkins, 1960s

Music. Why?
The production and consumption of music is a big part of the economy. The first use to which commercial recording in form of Edisons’ phonographs, was to bring music to the living rooms and picnic tables of those who could not afford to pay live musicians. Today, people are surrounded by other peoples music that they take it for granted, but as 100 years ago singsongs at home, the choir in the church and fiddlers in the pub were the most people heard. When you playlists is possibly a reflection of your personality and the your listening habits decides the individuality of yours, the era has come a long way of devices and different cultural meaning of listening to those devices, especially in an Indian context.

Music
Man is just one among the many forms of life. Yet, what sets him apart and puts him on top of the evolutionary ladder is his power to think, analyze, understand and assimilate for his own benefit and pleasure. From a marine creature hesitantly stepping onto land to a creature living on trees and walking on all fours to man as he is now – mankind has come a long way. A necessary and logical offshoot of the above mentioned power of thought is the development of fine arts. As man rose in stature in evolution, he needed to think less of survival and more of pleasures and pastimes. In this leisure did the seed of arts find fertile soil to grow into a large banyan tree with many branches and offshoots. The Indian literature celebrates the 64 arts. Amongst these, music is considered the crowning glory across many cultures and civilizations. 1 Antony

Hopkins, “Talking about Music,” London: Pan Books, 1977, p. 3.

Music listening habits and devices

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Man was created by Him and to Him he shall return ultimately. Likewise, the ultimate goal of music is a reunion with the Higher Self. Music is an art whose medium is sound and silence. To many people in many cultures, music is an important part of their life. Ancient Greek and Indian philosophers defined music as tones ordered horizontally as melodies and vertically as harmonies. Common sayings such as “ the harmony if spheres” and “Its music to my ears” points to the notion that music is often ordered and pleasant to listen to.

Images courtesy NASA/JPL-Caltech However, 20th-century composer John Cage thought that any sound can be music, saying, for example, "There is no noise, only sound."

Art of listening
The culture of appreciating the live music scores and performances extended with recorded music listening in the times ahead. Listening as an art has to be accomplished before it to began for anything, may it be music or speeches or any such activity. Attentive listening is an important skill that is useful in many aspects of life and is absolutely essential in music. A strong appreciation for music can be gained through regular, programmed listening. Such listening does not require understanding a score, nor specific instruction in music history or composition theory, but simply attentive, quiet listening to a wide variety of carefully selected music. In their textbook on “The Enjoyment of Music,” Joseph Machlis and Kristing Forney stress the importance of listening actively: “It takes practice to become good listeners. Most of us...
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