What happens when you hear music? Different things.
FAMILIAR MUSIC. Conventional songs. Immediate and precise anticipation of rhythm and melody ● Identification with singer ● Lack of apprehension ● A sense of “friendship” ● Isolation from other stimuli ● A need to separate words (meaning) from words (sounds) ● Increased emotional sensitivity (sometimes to embarrassing levels) ● Pride in being able to recognise structure ● Being tempted to participate.
FAMILIAR MUSIC. Instrumental, orchestral. Recognition of rhythm, melody and structure can be source of relief ● Disappointment (often acute) when recognition fails ● Minor surprises when theme is carried (or echoed) by different instruments ● Occasional irritation when small phrases and figures prove predictable (eg, parts of cadenzas) ● Loss of self in fff passages ● Increasing sensitivity linked to crescendos and diminuendos ● A sense of apprehension as instrumental volume drops to very low levels ● Refined delight when instrumental “layers” are detected in orchestral tuttis ● Identification with conductor ● Pride at being part of the event.
NEW MUSIC Search – often frenzied - for known historical parallels ● Disproportionate relief when parallels are recognised ● Squaring the fact that keeping track of the immediate past and present (in order to grasp the structure) can leave listener melodically adrift ● Deciding between concentration or passive acceptance ● Shutting out intellectual processes regarding meaning, originality, plagiarism, etc ● Suppressing one’s sense of inferiority ● Withholding judgment en route.
NOVEL PLUS BACH I ease Blest Redeemer (50,779 words) along with performances from YouTube. Today I was comforted by 16 min 24 sec of Andras Schiff doing Bach’s GoldBerg Variations. Ordered the disc even though I have it by Glenn Gould. Different performances can in effect be different works