Listening – Really Listening!

Laurie Riley Music

At some time in our lives most of us, musicians and non-musicians alike, have played and re-played some favorite recording until, from repeated listening, we know every note of it. But did we realize this is actually a form of practice?

How often do we treat recorded music as something more than background ambience? How often have you really listened to a recording? Not just to enjoy it, and not just in your car, but purposely and carefully analyzing everything about it:  melody, harmony, phrasing, dynamics, chord structures in the arrangement, ornamentation and so on, including an analysis of the time signature, tempo, and key?

When I got my first harp, there were no teachers around, and I wanted so badly to learn all I could that I decided to learn what I could by listening over and over to the Chieftains albums I had (the only recordings of lever-harp…

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