Listen More and Hear Less

It seems to me that our lives are perpetually assaulted by music. There is hardly a moment that passes in which you are not confronted by music via an ipod, radio, Pandora, commercials, TV shows, movie soundtracks, open car windows, co-workers, ambient background noise in restaurants/bars/shopping malls, and all other means of cultural auditory collisions. This inevitability is fact, and we rarely think about the consequences of this lifestyle.

One such consequence is that the majority of music listening in which we participate is passive listening. Furthermore, I worry that we have forgotten how to listen, and instead have replaced it with hearingJust because you hear music, doesn't mean you are listening to music. you dig?

It was not too long ago that people would have to go out of there way to hear Music. The act of Listening to music used to be a sacred act with accompanying rituals. Whether it was the social aspects brought about by concert attendance, or the mere fact that record players do not contain pause, fast forward, or rewind buttons, and will not fit neatly into your pocket. Although this style of listening was less mobile, it occurred in larger chunks of more focused time.

I believe we are hindered by passive listening habits. We have a less developed working memory for retention and absorption, but more importantly, a lesser ability to communicate our feelings about music. If we live in the a culture that perpetually bombards its citizens with music, then it is fair to say that we are a culture of music fans. Nevertheless, ask yourself why it is that you like or dislike a certain song, band, composer, or musician of any nature and see how many different specific examples you can give beyond the typical stock responses.

Music is melody, harmony, texture, and rhythm. If we wish to continue the practice of music making and appreciation to the highest degree, then we must further an education of musical understanding to aid communication and deepen appreciation.I am working to Listen more, and hear less. you dig?