Blog Post 5 Ways of Hearing Episode #2

  1. What do you take the differences between “hearing” and “listening” to be? Do we make choices about what we listen to? If so, how do we make these choices? What criteria do we use? Do structural features, such as race, gender, or social class, inform how we listen? How so? Are there other structural elements that affect our listening experiences?

There is a subtle difference between hearing and listening, even though some people use them as synonyms. One requires effort, while the other happens without our awareness. Listening and hearing go hand in hand when learning and communicating. Hearing is the perception of sound and does not require concentration whilst listening is the active understanding of the sounds you hear and concentration is required.

It’s impossible to stop hearing. Sound is fundamental to your existence, so you will hear them all day. Listening, however, is temporary because it requires attention and focus that cannot be provided every minute of the day. Therefore, listening becomes a psychological experience.

We cannot pick what we hear but we can choose what we listen to and yes structural features such as race or gender define who or what we listen to. This happens because in certain cultures such as Muslim the husband is the head of the household and the wife listens to her husband only because that is what is done in their culture but if another man has a say she won’t listen because her culture says otherwise. Also when it comes to politics or race if its election time and the democratic party is talking about a important topic the people of the republican party would probably hear the democrats’ speaking but would not listen to them because its not their party speaking and remember hearing isn’t a choice but listening is.

2.  How do Schafer and Krukowski discuss the relationship between sound and space?

Soundscapes are defined by Schafer as an acoustic field of study. He continues to state that “just as we can study features of any landscape, we can isolate the acoustic environment as a field of study as sound is not just defined as music, but as sound in a broad context. Our environment and our own voices create our soundscape e.g. the buses, trains, cabs, babies crying, people listening to music, buildings under construction. All of theses are examples of how we create our own soundscape. While Krukowski  expresses how he feels about sound today and how technology has changed how we hear and listen to each other, for instance when we are in the presence of others we would cancel out each other using our headphones so communication isn’t as thorough as it use to be, meaning that we no longer experience time together. He also states that you can hear the difference in sounds in an empty room vs a room full of people or if you place your mouth towards the mic your voice will sound like if your closer to audience whilst if you move your mouth away from the mic you can tell the difference. Sound is everywhere and we can choose to hear it or listen to it but also depends on why or how your doing so.