Listening can occur in a concert hall or in the hall. Any environment where sound is the focus of attention is called a soundscape. No matter where you are as you read these words, you are in a soundscape, and you may be able to imagine other soundscapes, such as a concert hall, a classroom, your place of residence with special sound equipment and furnishings, or a sandy beach along a coastal area full of visual and aural beauty. Some soundscapes are very small places within four walls, and others are as big and open as you can possibly imagine. Soundscape listening can begin the process of focused listening, for example, the most basic listener action in a soundscape is "to identify" sounds. In my book, "Encounters with Music through Listener Actions," I explore the idea of creating a set of skills to improve listening in any environment.

This part of this website will be dedicated to the skills of listening, the listener actions as defined in my book. The following lists present some of the basic listener actions during three stages:


  • To listen as preparation for additional listening
  • To classify into categories (genres, instruments, etc.)
  • To develop historical awareness
  • To search in online and print documents
  • To write program notes or the results of research
  • To find meaning in music, emotional or extramusical