Is music ever worthy of your full attention?

by Rachel Baker on April 21, 2014

This article is about truly listening to music. There’s obviously a semi-review of a few headsets (because its cnet.com), but the questions in the article and the links referencing other articles are probably worth your time to read if you listen to a lot of music.

A couple of weeks ago Geoffrey Morrison and I wrote about listening to music from totally opposite perspectives. He started with “Music multitasking: How ‘background’ listening enhances life,” and I countered with “To listen to music or not: That is the question.” Apparently, we’re not done; on Wednesday Morrison posted “Music multitasking, part 2: Why music anywhere, anytime, is awesome,” and here’s my final two cents, listen up.

I’m talking about really savoring music, soaking it in. That has to be a more intense, soul-satisfying experience than merely having it on. Glancing at a great painting as you stroll by isn’t the same as standing there for a few minutes, taking it in. I’ll concede that Morrison’s view wins the popular vote; few people listen without multitasking, so they don’t know what they’re missing. That’s why I suggested to try and occasionally stop talking, texting, or whatever.

Background listening is obviously enjoyable; that’s why almost everybody does it. It doesn’t demand much from the listener; the sound is just a space filler, and that can be a good thing. Quiet restaurants without background music are deadly dull; gentle jazz stirrings can provide a pleasant atmosphere. There, I said it: background music sometimes serves an important function.

Why listen?

Read the whole article here:
http://www.cnet.com/news/music-ever-worthy-of-your-full-attention/

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