Listening Strategy

Musicology of Electroacoustic Music [MEM]  >  Listening Experience  ]

We do not listen to music in uniform, fixed, or pseudo-objective ways. Creative practice and research in electroacoustic music have highlighted the ways in which we may perceive different musics in very different manners, and adopt different approaches in our listening. It is also very frequent that different listening strategies may be adopted during the course of a single piece of music. Much learned in this area about listening responses is acknowledged and employed by composers and musicians in their strategies for the creation of electroacoustic music.

It is the perceived salience of aspects of musical surfaces and structures that will lead listeners to adopt different strategies in their listening. For example, we will undoubtedly listen to a fast monophonic sequence of autonomous sonic events in a very different fashion to an immensely dense and slowly evolving granular texture. Similarly, we are likely to listen to narrative in a different manner from a highly abstract musical surface.

Since electroacoustic music is a time-based art, our listening may be highly directed by the musical codes and structuring devices of the composer, or we may be left the freedom to listen in more non-directed ways.

The idea in ecological theories of perception that any stimulus will contain the key to its eventual understanding by the perceiver is perhaps apropos.


See also:

Modes of Listening



English - Español - Français - Deutch - Italiano

Alphabetical order - Chronological order

Appleton, Jon H. (1969). Re-evaluating the Principle of Expectation in Electronic Music
Barrière, Françoise (1995). Reflexions on the State of Electroacoustic Music Today : AEsthetic Evolution and Relation with the Public
Camilleri, Lelio, Smalley, Denis (1998). The Analysis of Electroacoustic Music: Introduction
Delalande, François (2002a). {Aquatisme}
Dupont, Maÿlis (2001). Pour une écoute critique : l’émergence de la musique
Ferraz, Silvio, Aldrovandi, Leonardo (2000). Loop-interpolation-random & Gesture: Déjà vu in computer-aided composition
Field, Ambrose (1996). An Introduction to Discovery Strategy
Hufschmitt, Aline (2001). Continuité ou discontinuité ? Un exemple de perception changeante de la fin de {Sud}
IRCAM-Hyptique, (1999). Dix jeux d’écoute
Karkoschka, Erhard (1972). Eine Hörpartitur elektronischer Musik (An electronic music listening score)
Keane, David (1981). The Quest for ‘Musically Interesting’ Structures in Computer Music
Keane, David (1986). At the Threshold of an Aesthetic
Keane, David (1989b). The Quest for “Musically Interesting” Structures in Computer Music
Lagrost, Jean-François (2001). Matières, espace, lumière et évolution : quatre manières de percevoir le début de {Sud}
López, Francisco (2004). Profound Listening and Environment Sound Behaviour
Norris, Michael (1999). Reinstating Interpretation: The status of Analysis in an Electroacoustic Context
Ouzounian, Gascia (2006). Embodied sound: Aural architectures and the body
Smalley, Denis (1986). Spectro-morphology and Structuring Processes
Smalley, Denis (1992). The Listening Imagination: Listening in the Electroacoustic Era
Smalley, Denis (1995a). The Listening Imagination: Listening in the Electroacoustic Era
Smalley, Denis (1999). Établissement de cadres relationnels pour l’analyse de la musique postschaefferienne
Wee, Cecilia (2002). Discussing Some Effects of Technology on Musical Participation in Contemporary Society
Windsor, W. Luke (2000). Through and Around the Acousmatic: The Interpretation of Electroacoustic Sounds
Worrall, David (1998). Space in Sound: Sound of Space