Posts Tagged ‘listening’

mobile music listening in the environment


Listening to music on a mobile device (phone, iPod, iPad and other tablets) influences the way we perceive our environment. But a certain environment, e.g. a street will also influence how I listen to a piece of music. When I listen to the same piece in a forest, it will feel different.

Listening and seeing is a two-way perceptional process: listening influences seeing, and seeing influences listening.




Listening seems a trivial activity: we do it all the time. Our ears never close down. If we think about seeing, it becomes obvious that our senses involve and encourage an active exploration of our environment.

Barry Truax (2001 p. 15) in his book Acoustic Communication writes

[Listening] is a set of sophisticated skills that appear to be deteriorating within the technologized urban environment, both because of noise exposure, which causes hearing loss and physiological stress, and because of the proliferation of low information, highly redundant and basically uninteresting sounds, which do not encourage sensitive listening.

Murray R. Schafer (1994. The Soundscape: Our Sonic Environment and the Tuning of the World, Rochester: Destiny Books.) developed the concept and practice of Soundwalks to increase listener’s awareness of their sonic environment. This technique of observation is used in everyday life as well as in science.