Chapter 1: Sound-Based Music

Abstract:

This chapter addresses the issue of how we listen to sound-based music – that is, the psychology of human audition within the context of sonic art. There are a number of different listening modes that humans tend to draw on in the process of attending and understanding music. Some are concerned with information gathering and causality, some with basic feelings of pleasure and displeasure, some with the appreciation of music through the understanding of a code, others with highly personal and subjective referential meaning, and others with technical concerns. These numerous modes of listening are activated both automatically and voluntarily during the ordinary listening process. Here we will consider the main modes of listening relevant to our discussion under the general categories: universal and personal modes of listening.