Johannes Goebel -- Listening and Hearing

By Sound American

October 22, 2015

Considering differences between hearing and listening may lead to a particular perspective on the developments in media technology over the past 100 years. The technical reproduction of acoustic events, electronic processing, and synthesis of sounds affect all of us: listeners, composers, sound artists, musicians, producers, and media companies.

The differentiation between hearing and listening I suggest may seem arbitrary. It may not align with a colloquial use of these words, nor is it scientifically “clean.” At the center of my considerations are two different attitudes in how we deal with what our ears absorb. I have assigned these two attitudes to hearing and listening.

The following thoughts about hearing and listening may allow perspectives on forms and contexts of acoustic events — how we perceive such events; which acoustic materials are used by an artist; and which consequences in perception are inherent to just the sound itself. And the specific acoustic conditions of media technology and media industry may be looked at under this perspective as well. And on a very personal level, the differentiation of hearing and listening may offer the opportunity to review one’s own habits.

Read the full article at Sound American.