Is “Dedicated Listening” becoming a lost art?

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by Khorn, Aug 3, 2022.

  1. Khorn

    Khorn Dynagrunt Obversarian Thread Starter

    My preference is sit down dedicated listening. I usually put aside a few hours of the day specifically for concentrated music involvement. It’s the way that I find it most satisfying and fulfilling.

    I’m hearing that dedicated sit down listening is becoming a much rarer pastime these days with walk around portable units proliferating.

    Is it becoming a lost art? How do you see it?
  2. terzinator

    terzinator boots lost in transit

    I won't do it.
    jonwoody, DancingSea and Khorn like this.
  3. allied333

    allied333 Audiophile

    What is dedicated listening vs listening?
  4. pdenny

    pdenny 22-Year SHTV Participation Trophy Recipient

    Hawthorne CA
    Most people use music as wallpaper, something to stay in the background while they do something else.
  5. Mel Harris

    Mel Harris Audiophile since 1970!

    Petaluma, CA
    I call this "headphone time".
  6. Ted Torres Jr

    Ted Torres Jr Synergistic Maximus

    SE LA
    For me, "dedicated listening" has Always been My Art Form! Unfortunately, SWMBO for these past 47 years, almost Never! I close the door to my dedicated music room during my listening sessions and she's very happy with the emanating sounds throughout the home..."background" acoustical music is just fine for her! :righton:

  7. Dan C

    Dan C Forum Fotographer

    The West
    Or perhaps people get plenty of enjoyment out of music in different ways. Moving, dancing, listening with friends, relaxing, etc.

    And really, "dedicated listening" is more of just a thing rather than an "art." The term smacks of judgy, audiophile snobbiness to me.

    dan c
    Tourswede, tumpux, Art K and 18 others like this.
  8. cdash99

    cdash99 Senior Member

    Due to work and life commitments, much of my dedicated listening is in the car.
  9. doctor fuse

    doctor fuse Forum Resident

    Yes, it is becoming a lost skill.

    I am no fan of religion, but children having to sit quietly and listen for two hours probably helped develop good listening and concentration skills. Ditto, movie theatres and concert halls. Not to mention the ‘shared experience’ aspect, versus today’s mostly personal experience. School seems to be much more about pursuing personal projects, than the older “lecture” format.

    The youth culture explosion developed a more tribal experience, than universalist/Enlightenment experience, for better or for worse, abetted by the disposable income of post-WWII society. Technology has sure played its part, too.

    Younger people approaching and entering middle age (and passing it) are starting to explore classical concerts, but not en masse. I think that moment of silence before the first note begins is a very attractive experience for these people, but paying for silence versus paying for the narcotizing noise of the pop music festival (with its promise of celebrity, beer, and sex) is a rare thing.

    Western society has definitely passed from its Enlightenment period, into a tribal culture with an overwhelming compulsion for expression of personal identity.

    My three cents!
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  10. Khorn

    Khorn Dynagrunt Obversarian Thread Starter

    Sit down concentration at the exclusion of all else.
    Mike McMann, Nar65co, Grant and 11 others like this.
  11. rockin_since_58

    rockin_since_58 Forum Resident

    Simi Valley, CA
    I have music going all the time whether it be at work, in the car, bedroom and kitchen. For all of these I am randomly streaming. When it is time to "really listen", I am parked in front of my main system in a nice recliner with some bourbon and LP's spinning on the turntable.
    james, hronists, JeffMo and 11 others like this.
  12. Khorn

    Khorn Dynagrunt Obversarian Thread Starter

    On all the time when I’m driving.
  13. doctor fuse

    doctor fuse Forum Resident

    What is very interesting, is why so few hifi fans do not make their own music. The price of entry used to be hundreds of thousands of dollars, and today is simply a few hundred for a mic and preamp (assuming we already have a computer device).
    Khorn likes this.
  14. scottys

    scottys Here I am, you pod bastards!

    Prescott, AZ
    What skill/art is involved in sitting down and listening. It always sounds painful when people mention 'critical listening' - like your eyes would be bulging out.

    At the end of the day - 9PM or so - I pour a Johnny Walker and listen for about an hour.
    JSKC, Art K, vpvi26 and 5 others like this.
  15. Khorn

    Khorn Dynagrunt Obversarian Thread Starter

    I would hope most of us here don't fall into that category.
  16. Khorn

    Khorn Dynagrunt Obversarian Thread Starter

    I don’t want to hear me and I don’t think you would either.
    Rich-n-Roll and japhi like this.
  17. shadowhillway

    shadowhillway Forum Resident

    United States
    weren't people saying this starting forty years ago?
    trd and Khorn like this.
  18. Oelewapper

    Oelewapper Plays vinyl instead of installing it on the floor.

    Yes. Just listen to some older pop music and recent pop music.
    In general, songs have become much more superficial.
    This change of the music industry is a reflection of how music is “consumed” - music is mostly sold with the intention to be played in the background.
    Portable while traveling, at work, at the bar, at home while doing household chores, etc…

    Actually listening to music as an activity is very rare in the mainstream public, except for music festivals.
    But even then, it’s often more about the experience of the event as a whole, the atmosphere, the special effects, feeling one with the crowd… not just solely about the music itself.
    Gramps Tom, scottys and Khorn like this.
  19. Khorn

    Khorn Dynagrunt Obversarian Thread Starter

    Why on earth should it give that impression?
  20. Prighello

    Prighello Forum Resident

    I listen to music all the time but rarely to the exclusion of all else. Maybe 10% of my listening is totally dedicated. Who has time to sit in front of their system for hours doing nothing else? Must have some amazing concentration abilities too! :) No knock on those who can btw, if anything I’m envious.
    Khorn likes this.
  21. Khorn

    Khorn Dynagrunt Obversarian Thread Starter

    Who has time? An old retired guy like me. But then music has been sort of a habit most of my life.
    Leao, Dave, 33na3rd and 3 others like this.
  22. AudioAddict

    AudioAddict Forum Resident

    Those of us that were teaching music appreciation during the 1980s saw the change starting -- students were much more interested in visual stimulus rather than aural ones.
    In the next 50 years music has increasingly become less important in society -- if its free on the Internet it can't be worth much, right?
    if I was a high-end equipment manufacturer, I would be making every attempt to get listeners back to dedicated listening. When you do, you pay greater attention to the music, its formal structure, its comparative value, and, ESPECIALLY, to the equipment necessary to produce the best aural result.
    I listen in this dedicated fashion for hours each day and have been much happier doing this rather than watching cable TV or, especially, makes you less aggressive, BTW.
  23. Pinknik

    Pinknik Senior Member

    I’ll still spin some tunes on occasion. Probably less often than I used to, though. It’s more common to listen while also surfing the web or while exercising.
    Khorn likes this.
  24. _cl

    _cl Forum Resident

    I am putting an effort into it now. Started last night. ;-)

    My friend commented this past weekend about how much joy music brings me. That with the new Little Feat box set from Rhino arriving last Friday, I decided to make an effort at dedicated listening. (Better than binge watching NetFlix!)

    Of course, that means I "had" to buy a new streamer with a better DAC that more seemlessly integrates my local files and my music services. Set it up last night. Having fun so far!
  25. scottys

    scottys Here I am, you pod bastards!

    Prescott, AZ
    Yeah - that is certainly what I do. I get annoyed when I have to play DJ and play songs for others - then it becomes a chore.
    _cl and Khorn like this.

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