Author Topic: How do you hear music?  (Read 5666 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Earthlight

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 33
Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #20 on: March 19, 2008, 03:29:19 PM »
I know this sounds philistine and even barbaric, but I almost go out of my way to avoid learning very much about structure and technicalities. I have a career that requires a lot of detail work and a personality that tends to analyze everything into a pulp anyway. If I let myself get too wrapped up in the "hows" of music, I won't enjoy it as much -- or I'll enjoy it in the same way I enjoy work, or research, or a lot of other things, and there's not much point to that.

So if a piece of music reaches me on some emotional level -- or if I've got a reason to believe that there's something going on there I want to know -- I'll listen to it again. If not, I'll let it go and get on with my life.

greg

  • Guest
Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #21 on: March 19, 2008, 03:33:49 PM »

So if a piece of music reaches me on some emotional level -- or if I've got a reason to believe that there's something going on there I want to know -- I'll listen to it again. If not, I'll let it go and get on with my life.
listen again- without a score?
Some stuff I just HAVE to get the score, to find out what is going on that's so good- like how, with all of my experimenting i could've missed such a basic concept or chord progression or whatever. But there's infinite variation, so it's understandable, I guess.

But understanding something that I enjoy (emotionally) intellectually is just an added bonus, it just opens up the ideas in music.

Mark G. Simon

  • Guest
Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2008, 03:57:26 PM »
I don't know that I can separate the two. Both ways of listening are present pretty much all the time. I would say I tend to listen more analytically to a piece I'm not familiar with, because the first thing I want to do is make sense of it, then I can get an idea of how I feel about it.

Offline JoshLilly

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 402
  • Joachim Raff, the greatest!
Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #23 on: March 19, 2008, 04:46:59 PM »
I would use my ears, but that's just what they'd be expecting me to do.

Offline Chaszz

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 467
  • Untitled I, bas-relief, 51" x 25" x 10", 2014
    • Art by Charles Zigmund
  • Location: Carmel, NY
Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #24 on: March 21, 2008, 09:52:00 AM »
I listen for emotion, but with a desire to understand the technical aspects also. But emotion is more important to me. Do I go against type? NO.

I'm a visual artist, and work from emotion. A woman artist I know works from intellectual plans. Do either of us go against type? NO.

I hear landscape in Brahms symphonies, and a very experienced woman listener I know, with thousands of CDs, hears nothing of the sort, only pure music. She also denies there is emotion in music, and considers it organized sound complete in itself, with no outside reference point or accurate descriptive handle of any sort. Do either of us go against type? NO.

I'm most worked up here about the generalization that men listen one way, and women another; and about the generalizations in the patriarch vs. matriarch essay that Josquin linked to. I personally see all of these "Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus" generalizations as nothing but stereotypes, and often harmful ones. This type of declaration is often made from the prejudice of the observer, with little or no scientific evidence. The patriarch vs. matriarch author generalized from ONE MAN and ONE WOMAN that he personally knew. It is one of the first rules of evidence in medical and behavioral disciplines that personal, anecdotal experience cannot be accepted as applying in general, even if it's extensive. Only large populations and double-blind tests can provide real evidence. We would not take a prescription drug that had not been widely tested; why then do we swallow philosophies on an important matter like the mental natures of men and women, that are the result of potentially biased personal opinions?

Brain science using MRI imaging is beginning to provide solid evidence, and though a few real mental differences between men and women have tentatively emerged, they are a small number compared to the large number of stereotypical supposed differences that have been proven false. This kind of thinking -- prejudice toward women OR toward men masquerading as general scientific fact -- is IMO sexism, no different from racism, and it's past time society got over it. It has a certain positive, comforting romantic component -- the strong rational man protecting the weaker more intuitive woman, who repays him with needed emotional nourishment -- that most people are naturally susceptible to, and this is one reason it's so hard to get past. Also men and women often tend to act the way they think society expects them to rather than in accord with their real personalities. Can we be so bold as to generalize -- without real solid proof --on the actual differences between the sexes with all these confusing and contradictory factors involved? In such a situation, 80 to 90% of the supposed differences could easily be pure hokum.   

You needn't agree with me. But if you don't, would you consider questioning your thinking more carefully the next time you make a stereotypical gender assumption, on musical listening preferences or anything else?
« Last Edit: March 21, 2008, 10:46:11 AM by chaszz »
See my sculptures and paintings at http://charleszigmund.com and http://charleszigmund.com/sculpture

Offline Ten thumbs

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1429
Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #25 on: March 22, 2008, 09:14:23 AM »
I don't know that I can separate the two. Both ways of listening are present pretty much all the time. I would say I tend to listen more analytically to a piece I'm not familiar with, because the first thing I want to do is make sense of it, then I can get an idea of how I feel about it.
I agree entirely. Music must move one if it is worth listening to but the reason it does is because it is well constructed technically. The more one sees this, the more the music attracts. This does not always mean that good music is fully appreciated either by others or by myself. I do pass on some well known masterpieces, even though I do acknowledge their worth. After all - we don't live forever!

A day may be a destiny; for life
Lives in but little—but that little teems
With some one chance, the balance of all time:
A look—a word—and we are wholly changed.

dave b

  • Guest
Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #26 on: March 22, 2008, 09:45:35 AM »
I am the same way. Strictly emotional, the beauty of the melody. Some very famous classical pieces don't appeal to me much, simply because they are not as pleasing to the ear as some other lesser known works. I keep harping on Respighi Ancient Airs and Dances as a prime example. Not on anyone's top ten list but it is absolutely beautiful.

Offline The new erato

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 13988
Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #27 on: March 22, 2008, 09:59:34 AM »
I listen sitting down.

Offline Al Moritz

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 375
Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #28 on: March 24, 2008, 12:08:12 PM »
I don't know that I can separate the two. Both ways of listening are present pretty much all the time. I would say I tend to listen more analytically to a piece I'm not familiar with, because the first thing I want to do is make sense of it, then I can get an idea of how I feel about it.

Well put, and seconded.

Offline drogulus

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 5394
  • Gypsy, 1970
Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #29 on: March 24, 2008, 12:52:24 PM »

      For me it's more of a foreground/background experience.  Most of the analytical work goes on behind the scenes, so I'll just be enjoying a piece and learning something about it without trying to. Learning and enjoying can't be entirely separate things even with a piece that's familiar. I don't think I set out to learn about music as an exclusive goal, but then I'm not sure I can say why I want to listen to music in the first place.

      It's possible that men and women listen differently on average, though I'll bet individual differences would tend to blur any such distinction. Men tend to be prone to many kinds of mental oddities like very high or low intelligence, autism or autism-like syndromes and probably others that go undiagnosed. Whatever it is that makes it far more likely that a mathematical, scientific, or artistic prodigy will be male may also affect how the sexes process musical information differently. If sexism has an effect on these factors it would probably be a minor one. That would be a matter of beliefs, mostly, whereas these differences operate at a deeper level.
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64; rv:45.9) Gecko/20100101 Goanna/3.2 Firefox/45.9 PaleMoon/27.3.0
      
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; WOW64; rv:50.0) Gecko/20100101 Firefox/50.0

Offline quintett op.57

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 465
Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #30 on: March 24, 2008, 03:40:14 PM »
One of the executives within BBC radio has claimed this week that men predominately listen to the technicalities of music, whilst women have a predominantly emotional response.

I don't relate to this generalisation, but wondered if it holds any truth for the people here.

Mike
I do believe it's true but I don't know in what proportion. I have no proofs, only my own observation of what occurrs around me.
Right now, I can think of one woman who reacts like men in this regard, I know others, but they're a minority, for sure.

That would (partly) explain the week number of female composers.

This topic is a bit politically uncorrect nowadays.
Many people fear this difference could be interpretated as a difference of intellectual level (that would be a mistake).
The sacro-saint principle of intellectual equality between sexes (and races) is at stake. (As far as I'm concerned, no opinion, it does not interest me).


Most of you will answer they both listen the technicalities and react emotionally.
Remember we're talking about predominance. It's never exclusive. Our mind never stops to experience emotions. 

Offline Ten thumbs

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1429
Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #31 on: March 26, 2008, 12:51:13 PM »

Remember we're talking about predominance. It's never exclusive. Our mind never stops to experience emotions. 
Maybe we don't stop but we do examine the techniques that created the emotions.
My examinations of the lives of female composers suggests that one big difference from their male counterparts is that they nearly always had more than one life. Continuous devotion to composition was very rarely possible. This has usually precluded a sequence of major works.
A day may be a destiny; for life
Lives in but little—but that little teems
With some one chance, the balance of all time:
A look—a word—and we are wholly changed.

dave b

  • Guest
Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #32 on: March 26, 2008, 01:12:38 PM »
I think that when we all hear music, our primary and immediate response is emotional, and only after that initial reaction, do we care about technicalities. We do not listen to the music primarily for technicalities. When we see a stunning sunset our first reaction is, that is beautiful. Very very few of us would say that: the color spectrum appears to be at a certain named point, and the shifting of the light produces an effect which is technically stimulating, allowing our vision to experience the retinal operation which allow us......you get the picture.....

Offline millionrainbows

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 141
  • Location: USA
Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #33 on: May 05, 2017, 02:00:55 PM »
As an example, I think men are more drawn to jazz fusion, where there are way too many notes played, and there is a virtuoso aspect. Music like this seems to inherently lack emotion, and is rhythmically driven, almost mechanical-sounding.

Maybe part of it is genetic: women had to nurse babies, so they needed a quiet, sheltered environment. Men were outside the caves, yelling at coyotes to scare them off.

Offline Spineur

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 1655
  • Magdalena Kozena, Felicity Lott with love
  • Location: Grenoble
  • Currently Listening to:
    Mozart & friends
Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #34 on: May 05, 2017, 05:59:12 PM »
One of the executives within BBC radio has claimed this week that men predominately listen to the technicalities of music, whilst women have a predominantly emotional response.

I don't relate to this generalisation, but wondered if it holds any truth for the people here.

Mike
It is always fun to see some of these old thread resurface !  I had heard this claim before.  For me it is stated too vaguely and may involve some prejudice to be of interest.

A more precise and related question is: are men more sensitive to harmony and women more sensitive to melody ?  Actually most pieces have both.  But most people would agree that Bach is mostly an harmonic composer.  Schubert is more inclined toward melody.  Cimarosa is mostly melody.

I would be interested to read a statistical analysis of relation between genre and harmony vs melody.
A woman voice glides like the wind
Of black, of damp, of night
And all it touches in this flight
Suddenly is over.

Anna Akhomatova

Offline amw

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2609
Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #35 on: May 05, 2017, 06:36:50 PM »
Maybe part of it is genetic: women had to nurse babies, so they needed a quiet, sheltered environment. Men were outside the caves, yelling at coyotes to scare them off.
That's not how genetics work, and that's also not how human beings worked. Early humans had a much more gender-equal society than we do now in all likelihood.

In my experience the whole thing about men and women listening differently isn't borne out by reality, particularly when it's weird old-fashioned generalisations like that with women being emotional and men rational or whatever (as far as I know the scientific evidence is actually the exact opposite—testosterone is associated with heightened emotional states and reactivity, whereas oestrogen is a mild antidepressant/mood stabiliser). Things that would have a much greater effect on how people listen would include culture, education, class, profession, and obviously personality, for instance it's fairly well documented that working-class people rarely listen to classical music or that people from different cultures identify the emotional ramifications of a particular musical piece differently. (eg the Aka people of west africa not finding the music from the shower scene in Psycho to be scary, threatening or dissonant)

Offline Crudblud

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 200
  • Location: Multiple Fridge-Freezers
Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #36 on: May 05, 2017, 06:52:56 PM »
If I listen to a piece twice and hear it the same way each time I would find it odd, because it means that I gained nothing the first time around. Even if it is only a minor detail that is revealed during a listen, the next will be different because of that detail, so too my response.

Listening for details and responding emotionally are not mutually exclusive, and the idea of doing all of one and none of the other is quite alien to my experience of listening to music.

Offline jessop

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3754
    • jessop's SoundCloud
Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #37 on: May 05, 2017, 07:05:50 PM »
I have always wondered how on Earth it is possible not to have a predominantly emotional response to music. Are the people who claim that men who don't have predominantly emotional responses actually robots or something?

These days I rarely come across music I don't like to some degree. All of the music I hear I have some kind of emotional reaction to. When I don't like something it is always due to the nature of the performance or interpretation than the actual music itself.

Offline NorthNYMark

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 380
  • Location: Northern NY (near Ottawa)
  • Currently Listening to:
    Beethoven, Brahms, Bartok, Shostakovich, Ligeti, Carter (but always exploring; also listen to a lot of progressive rock and jazz)
Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #38 on: May 05, 2017, 08:18:01 PM »
That's not how genetics work, and that's also not how human beings worked. Early humans had a much more gender-equal society than we do now in all likelihood.

In my experience the whole thing about men and women listening differently isn't borne out by reality, particularly when it's weird old-fashioned generalisations like that with women being emotional and men rational or whatever (as far as I know the scientific evidence is actually the exact opposite—testosterone is associated with heightened emotional states and reactivity, whereas oestrogen is a mild antidepressant/mood stabiliser). Things that would have a much greater effect on how people listen would include culture, education, class, profession, and obviously personality, for instance it's fairly well documented that working-class people rarely listen to classical music or that people from different cultures identify the emotional ramifications of a particular musical piece differently. (eg the Aka people of west africa not finding the music from the shower scene in Psycho to be scary, threatening or dissonant)

Thank you for this thoughtful and well-informed response. After reading through the thread, it was very refreshing to be able to come to this at the end.

Offline Crudblud

  • Full Member
  • *
  • Posts: 200
  • Location: Multiple Fridge-Freezers
Re: How do you hear music?
« Reply #39 on: May 06, 2017, 07:17:09 AM »
I have always wondered how on Earth it is possible not to have a predominantly emotional response to music. Are the people who claim that men who don't have predominantly emotional responses actually robots or something?

I think the vast majority of people react emotionally to pretty much everything before they come at it rationally.

Buying Music From Amazon?
Please consider using these links. A small percentage of every sale using these links is passed on to GMG and helps keep this forum online.
Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK