I have often thought about how we experience music and how this experience must differ from one person to another. Two people might be in the same concert hall, or even just sitting in a living room listening to music, but experience the sound in a totally different way. This could perhaps be down where the person is seated, maybe certain frequencies in the instrumental timbre are accentuated, or frequencies maybe in the bottom end (bass) of the sound example are dampened, therefore altering the persons experience or interpretation of the piece.

Either way, I believe that listening to music and indeed sound is a multi-sensual experience that is not only processed by our ears, but felt throughout our whole body which can influence how we feel about a certain sound or combination of sounds. I am sure many of us have been in a place where loud music is played and have felt the bass literally pumping through us, is this music? Or sound? It is perhaps besides the point, but it is a good example of how a sound is being felt rather than heard. In this soaring demonstration, deaf percussionist Evelyn Glennie illustrates how listening to music involves much more than simply letting sound waves hit your eardrums. Glennie lost nearly all of her hearing by age 12 but rather than that isolating her from music, it gave her a unique connection to sound.

One interesting topic I began to think about while listening to Evelyn speak, is the difference between experiencing music through performance, live at concert, through speakers projecting sound-waves into a room, headphones projecting sound into your ear and ear-buds which emit sound literally straight to your eardrum. This would suggest that the latter two options remove a significant amount of emotive qualities from music. Food-for-thought!