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Instructor: Afroditi Karantonaki

Instructor: Afroditi Karantonaki

‘Hear’ & ‘Listen’

‘Hearing’: Our sense of hearing; hearing is a physical process, something natural, but passive, while listening is both a physical and mental process

and is active. Our physical ability to receive and decode sound stimuli. It

refers to our sense of hearing. In the example with our friend, we „hear‟ many sounds from the environment, but we choose to „listen‟ to some of them.

‘Listen’: Focus my auditory attention / Concentrate on a sound stimulus, trying to put some meaning on the transmitted message. According to the

International Listening Association website, 45% of our time is spent listening, and that‟s may be why listening, is considered as the biggest contributing factor to miscommunication and in a more personal level, misunderstanding.


Music is all around the natural environment (birds‟ singing, whispering wind, etc); small melodic motives, which often follow a repetitive rhythmical model. What we usually hear in the urban environment is „noise‟ rather than music (traffic noise, people speaking, etc). Music serves two main purposes: a) music as a background (music in shops, airports, in TV commercials, in films, etc) and b) music for our own listening. People may not react at all, when they listen music that they don‟t like e.g. In the airport (because they can‟t do anything to change it), but when it comes to self-selected music, they tend to demonstrate a variety of tastes. ‘Music’: “A piece of sound information based upon specific patterns in terms of rhythm, mode, harmony and melody and at the same time, it conveys a message”; Psychophysical response; Music for enjoyment and self-definition.

We use music as much as music uses us.

Uses of Music

We use music, for enjoyment, as an inspiration for physical movement and as a means of self-definition.

Teenagers and adults have a kind of different approach to music. For teenagers, music is the main tool of self-definition and of the development of their social identity. For adults, the same as above may be true, but they usually use music for distraction from their problems and negative feelings.

This is the therapeutic side of music, because yes, music can also serve as

therapy for various diseases. Music is related to physiological arousal (chills, fast heart beating), but we don‟t know the size of contribution that this physiological arousal has in music preferences; especially if we take into account the fact that music listening is very often associated with activities which elicit other kinds of arousal, we cannot be sure which kind of arousal is more important in music appreciation and that‟s why more studies should be conducted on that.

Music Listening Process (MLP)

Without music life would be a mistake.

(Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche)

Without music life would be a mistake. (Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche) Image Courtesy of Chaiwat/

Image Courtesy of Chaiwat/