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Re: AUDITORY Digest - 8 Mar 2007 to 9 Mar 2007 (#2007-57)
Date: Fri, 9 Mar 2007 16:40:13 -0500
From: Kevin Austin <kevin.austin@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Subject: Listening to, and thinking about music
A mind question, a question of mind.
Today a colleague framed the following situation:
"Is it possible to listen to music without thinking about music?"
"Is it impossible to listen to music without thinking about music?"
Are they two separate activities that coexist like the white and the
yolk of a scrambled egg?
I think it depends on what you mean by "thinking." If you mean
"conscious awareness" or "awareness of one's own awareness" It is
certainly possible to listen to music without stopping to have the
metacognition that "here I am listening to music." This happens most
clearly when people enter trance states or get into the "flow" of the
listening experience (in the Csikszentmihalyi sense). It's also
possible to just be listening to music and have your mind wander.
I guess it also depends on what you mean by "listening" and I'm not
trying to be funny or cute here, but some authors have made a
terminological distinction between "listening" and "hearing," the
former implying a kind of conscious, analytic mode.