Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Distance and Direction

As a listener, one may be led to believe that one is either fully engaged and appreciative or one is not.

For the most part, one expects to listen intensely or engage emotionally with a song or instrumental work.  In doing so one is focused upon and diverted by external stimulus.  Thus for some listeners music provides an escape from the ordinary.

But this is not always the case, nor need it be.  Observe the widely differing degrees of attention given to various sounds, diverse passages of music, external atmospheres, etc., and it is readily apparent that a vast spectrum of awareness and concentration is at play.  Furthermore, sophisticated listeners are not always interested in merely following musical progressions or being dazzled by instrumental wizardry; music can also be an inspiration to thought, creativity, study, and numerous other aspects of internal motivation.

Clearly, the composer's palette and manner need not be limited by narrow definitions of musical perception.