The third musical role, the listener, is discussed in this chapter. The opening section describes the physiological aspect of listening and reveals it to be a complicated process that transforms acoustical stimuli into images or notions that can be experienced. This musical experience is then shown to be influenced by various factors which exhibit the inherent malleability of a person's internal representation of music. Composers and musicians enable listeners to experience music emotionally through the use of musical structures that are recognized and understood by them. Another section discusses the skills of judging and critiquing music, which are shown to be difficult to acquire and easily disrupted. Throughout the chapter, several musical phenomena, including hearing color, having a tune “stuck in the head,” and the recall of biographically important songs, are explained though the sciences of physiology and psychology.
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