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Begin with large-scale questions

When you drive, you shouldn’t stare at the road immediately ahead of you. Doing so causes your steering to be very erratic. Instead, you are taught to focus on a more distant horizon and also check your mirrors constantly for what is behind. You never lose sight of the road just ahead; but you subsume it within a larger perspective. This is a good metaphor for listening to music. Details are hard to remember and keep track of, especially when they begin to accumulate; it is also easy to lose sight of their overall relevance. Drawing your attention to large-scale issues of form, recurrence and destiny will help you keep your attention throughout an entire work; it will also keep you from becoming quickly disoriented when sounds are shocking or unfamiliar.

Be an adventurous listener

We live in the richest time for music ever: Thanks to recorded and broadcast media, it is almost impossible to have a day without music. As long as people care to listen, new music will always be written. Just as in every other profession, people reach beyond previous generations, challenging limitations and pre-conceptions and speculating about new possibilities, so too do living composers. People often ask about a new work, ”But how do I know if it will be any good?” It’s fun to watch the replays of a ballgame already played. But there is a special excitement when the action is unfolding live, and the outcome is uncertain. Bring that same spirit to the concert hall.

Closer study

Ask one question at a time

Deciphering music “holistically” can be a daunting task: There is a great deal of information—rhythmic harmonic, melodic, instrumental, formal, both short-term and large-scale--to consider. However, if you patiently ask one question of the piece at a time, you will be surprised at how much you can apprehend—even by ear. Begin with large-scale issues and gradually sink down into the details. In this way, you will build a comprehensive and confident aural analysis. Be patient with the process. When you learn to drive, it takes time and conscious effort to master each skill. Eventually, though, you internalize the skills into fluid actions. Similarly, “one-dimensional analysis” may seem laborious at first; but with practice, you will be able to consider multiple issues simultaneously and gradually develop “fuller” listening habits.

Do not limit yourself to a chronological analysis

If you have the opportunity to study a work in depth using an audio recording, do not limit yourself to chronological hearings. Listen carefully to expository and climactic statements, because these most clearly establish the identity of musical material. If you identify recurrent sections, play them side-by-side for closer comparison.

Build your subjective opinions from objective facts about the music

The more an interpretation is grounded in objective, verifiable observations, the stronger it is. Otherwise, it risks telling us more about the analyst than the music. In the module “Time’s Effect Upon the Material,” we discussed how the opening of the first movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony is compressed to half its length when it returns. This is an objective fact; anyone can measure it. By listening carefully and consciously articulating what you hear, you will be able to bring many crucial facts to light. Build your subjective point-of-view from these.

When writing about music, support your interpretive statements with concrete observations. “The music sounded like flowing water” is too vague. “The music sounded like flowing water because the rhythms were rapid and continuous, were in a middle register so as not to sound too anchored and flowed in long phrases” provides support for the subjective image with statements about the music that anyone can verify. None of these observations requires a musical background, just careful attention.


Equipped with these principles, you will be better prepared for the biographical, historical and theoretical contexts with which music is often described. The specifics of a style or era will resonate with the generalities that encompass all music. A Baroque "Da Capo" aria, in which the singer embellishes the return, is an example of repetition without redundancy. A Classical Sonata form is divided between expository and developmental sections. Leitmotifs enable Wagner to rhetorically reinforce the action in his operas.

Our environments are often so saturated with noises and activity, we spend a great deal of time trying not to hear . To get a measure of peace and autonomy, we learn to block out the voices and sounds around us. We tend to favor familiar stimuli, because repetition is easier to sublimate. Music is an invitation to listen with our full attention. Listening actively to music changes the way we hear our lives: At its most meaningful, music shows us how to recognize the rhythms, patterns and recurrences of our experience.

Questions & Answers

what is Nano technology ?
Bob Reply
write examples of Nano molecule?
The nanotechnology is as new science, to scale nanometric
nanotechnology is the study, desing, synthesis, manipulation and application of materials and functional systems through control of matter at nanoscale
Is there any normative that regulates the use of silver nanoparticles?
Damian Reply
what king of growth are you checking .?
What fields keep nano created devices from performing or assimulating ? Magnetic fields ? Are do they assimilate ?
Stoney Reply
why we need to study biomolecules, molecular biology in nanotechnology?
Adin Reply
yes I'm doing my masters in nanotechnology, we are being studying all these domains as well..
what school?
biomolecules are e building blocks of every organics and inorganic materials.
anyone know any internet site where one can find nanotechnology papers?
Damian Reply
sciencedirect big data base
Introduction about quantum dots in nanotechnology
Praveena Reply
what does nano mean?
Anassong Reply
nano basically means 10^(-9). nanometer is a unit to measure length.
do you think it's worthwhile in the long term to study the effects and possibilities of nanotechnology on viral treatment?
Damian Reply
absolutely yes
how to know photocatalytic properties of tio2 nanoparticles...what to do now
Akash Reply
it is a goid question and i want to know the answer as well
characteristics of micro business
for teaching engĺish at school how nano technology help us
Do somebody tell me a best nano engineering book for beginners?
s. Reply
there is no specific books for beginners but there is book called principle of nanotechnology
what is fullerene does it is used to make bukky balls
Devang Reply
are you nano engineer ?
fullerene is a bucky ball aka Carbon 60 molecule. It was name by the architect Fuller. He design the geodesic dome. it resembles a soccer ball.
what is the actual application of fullerenes nowadays?
That is a great question Damian. best way to answer that question is to Google it. there are hundreds of applications for buck minister fullerenes, from medical to aerospace. you can also find plenty of research papers that will give you great detail on the potential applications of fullerenes.
what is the Synthesis, properties,and applications of carbon nano chemistry
Abhijith Reply
Mostly, they use nano carbon for electronics and for materials to be strengthened.
is Bucky paper clear?
carbon nanotubes has various application in fuel cells membrane, current research on cancer drug,and in electronics MEMS and NEMS etc
so some one know about replacing silicon atom with phosphorous in semiconductors device?
s. Reply
Yeah, it is a pain to say the least. You basically have to heat the substarte up to around 1000 degrees celcius then pass phosphene gas over top of it, which is explosive and toxic by the way, under very low pressure.
Do you know which machine is used to that process?
how to fabricate graphene ink ?
for screen printed electrodes ?
What is lattice structure?
s. Reply
of graphene you mean?
or in general
in general
Graphene has a hexagonal structure
On having this app for quite a bit time, Haven't realised there's a chat room in it.
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
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Source:  OpenStax, Sound reasoning. OpenStax CNX. May 31, 2011 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10214/1.21
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