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Topic: How to listen to music?  (Read 2909 times)

Offline c_minor

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How to listen to music?
on: April 20, 2017, 02:07:23 PM
I've started listening to classical music around 6 years ago, but it seems that I still tend to listen to "ear-friendly" music more. When listening to longer works like Rachmaninoff's 3rd Piano Concerto, I find that I only wait for the memorable parts like the finale and somewhat ignore the others. Usually, I listen to music while doing school work (please don't kill me  :-\), so that may be a reason for not being able to listen fully..

Most will probably agree that music is subjective, and that one should listen to music s/he likes, but I feel that I'm missing out on a lot.

With that, I would like to ask how you listen to, and enjoy, classical music. What things do you listen for? Do you like listening to it while just sitting in a room? While reading? While enjoying a cup of tea?  ;D

Edit: Forgot to ask also how people judge an interpretation as "good" or "bad"? Subjective again, I think, but sometimes people seem to agree that pianist X plays better than pianist Y.

  
P.S. Has anyone read Swafford's "The Vintage Guide to Classical Music"?
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Offline outin

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Re: How to listen to music?
Reply #1 on: April 20, 2017, 02:29:31 PM
A lot of my listening is on earphones while walking/travelling. Like now when sitting in the bus. Rarely I have time to "just listen" at home these days... So often it is not really intensive listening. Live music is the best way to really listen to piano music imo...which is what I will do tonight :)

Offline afarmboysforte

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Re: How to listen to music?
Reply #2 on: April 20, 2017, 08:59:34 PM
I'm in a similar situation as you too. Most of my music listening is covered during my studies. ;) For me, the best way to listen to and enjoy the music, is to follow the score as you go. You don't have to scrutinize it, and try to catch everything, but just follow along. After one or two times of doing this, I often have a much better understanding of the music, and can often listen to more obscure or less memorable pieces with more pleasure.

As for the good or bad interpretation question, I don't think there is an easy answer. It's just personal preference :)

Offline c_minor

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Re: How to listen to music?
Reply #3 on: April 20, 2017, 09:37:49 PM
Live music is the best way to really listen to piano music imo...which is what I will do tonight :)

Lucky.. Here where I live, classical music doesn't seem to get much attention. Whose concert are you going to?  :)

.. follow the score as you go. You don't have to scrutinize it, and try to catch everything, but just follow along. After one or two times of doing this, I often have a much better understanding of the music, and can often listen to more obscure or less memorable pieces with more pleasure.

I also do that, and it somehow makes listening more enjoyable.  ;D But how do you understand music? What do you look/listen for? (I must admit that my knowledge of music is limited.. My previous teachers focused more on following what is written on the score)

Offline outin

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Re: How to listen to music?
Reply #4 on: April 21, 2017, 04:39:29 AM
Lucky.. Here where I live, classical music doesn't seem to get much attention. Whose concert are you going to?  :)

I don't feel so lucky, I travelled over two hours after work and then another 2+ hours back late at night to hear this thing. Totally worth it though :)
It was Andrey Gugnin, a wonderful young Russian pianist.

It is very rare to have piano recitals where I live and my back does not really take such long travels well, but if there is something I really want to hear I will go at least a few times a year.

Offline brogers70

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Re: How to listen to music?
Reply #5 on: April 21, 2017, 11:04:32 AM
Listening with a score helps me concentrate. But here's something else I've loved. If you have time to listen through any or all of these lectures, I find them addictive, and also very helpful in getting me to listen actively. This is a series called "Inside Chamber Music" taught be Bruce Adolphe. There's information on the composer and his context, and also a lot of detailed analysis of the individual pieces to help you see what's happening. For example, he'll take a Mozart string quintet and delete all the surprising and asymmetrical bits to show what it would be like had it been written by a lesser composer, and then add them back one by one so you can see how Mozart undermines the symmetry that many people think is the hallmark of classicism. Or he'll show how Ravel differs from Faure by taking a theme from Ravel and recasting it in Faure's style. And he's often quite funny. In any case, listening to all these lectures has helped me listen to music in a more active, focused way, which sounds like what you want to do. Try one or two and see if you like them.

Offline c_minor

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Re: How to listen to music?
Reply #6 on: April 21, 2017, 03:03:15 PM
Listening with a score helps me concentrate. But here's something else I've loved. If you have time to listen through any or all of these lectures, I find them addictive, and also very helpful in getting me to listen actively. This is a series called "Inside Chamber Music" taught be Bruce Adolphe. There's information on the composer and his context, and also a lot of detailed analysis of the individual pieces to help you see what's happening. For example, he'll take a Mozart string quintet and delete all the surprising and asymmetrical bits to show what it would be like had it been written by a lesser composer, and then add them back one by one so you can see how Mozart undermines the symmetry that many people think is the hallmark of classicism. Or he'll show how Ravel differs from Faure by taking a theme from Ravel and recasting it in Faure's style. And he's often quite funny. In any case, listening to all these lectures has helped me listen to music in a more active, focused way, which sounds like what you want to do. Try one or two and see if you like them.



Yes, this is close to what I want to do. Thanks so much for the recommendation. This should keep me very busy  ;D (currently watching the video on Brahms' Piano Quartet in g minor)
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