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The Zen of Listening

What I took away from this article, for the most part, is that music evokes nostalgia. Sometimes, it even brings up nostalgia within nostalgia. Music does not always remind us of a certain time, it may remind us of the music itself. It may not remind us of only what we listened to but also how we listened to it.

Beyond the memory-invoking  qualities of music, it actually presents a number of ideals. For example, the author says that Nationalism was basically born out of the communal act of first, reading the newspaper, then, listening to the radio. Knowing that there were other people out there listening to the same thing that you were was a form of bonding.

He also argues that the sense of hearing is responsible for the imagination. Hearing things, without seeing them, allows us to create a picture in our minds. I liked the example of how we are disappointed when we’ve imagined book characters a certain way, and they show up on screen nothing like how we saw them in their mind.

Another example that I liked was when the author clarified the difference between hearing and listening. The examples he used struck me because he was dead on- he said that I was probably ignoring the hum of a computer and the buzz of a fridge, and when I started actively listening I realized he was right, I hadn’t even noticed these sounds.

I wonder, maybe that’s where the expression tuning something out from? Like, changing the radio? Isn’t it funny that it now refers to hearing versus listening, which is also a topic of consideration in the radio?


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