Do We Know How To Listen Anymore?

The arrival of the technology of the 21st Century has brought some casualties.  The biggest loss is that we no longer know how to listen anymore.  We cannot focus on just sound, in particular music without a visual prompt.  When was the last time you sat down, closed you eyes and just listened to a piece of music?  We are so trained in the art of multitasking that we get all nervous and edgy with just aural stimulation.  We eat to music, work to music, drive to music but we never listen to music by itself.

Pop music is now just a soundtrack to a video or a performer "owning the stage."  And music has suffered because of this.  It's all about rhythm and repetition, not about a melody and lyrics merged together to create a better experience.

Even Classical music performances are including big screen videos so people have something to look at.  I was stunned that at a Colorado Symphony Orchestra of 2 symphonies, one by Beethoven and one by Stravinsky (if I remember correctly), that it included a big screen visual that showed the photography of a Colorado artist.  These are major classical works being relegated to second fiddle by visual art.

I will admit that I am as guilty as anyone else of multitasking but now I challenge myself to just sit and listen without any visual prompts to get the true musical experience.  I hope you will also take some time to do this.

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