Musical Sound pp 211-235 | Cite as

The Environment for Listening

  • Michael J. Moravcsik


Music, from the listener’s point of view, has many functions. In some of these music is one of several elements and is used to heighten an overall experience or to serve as a background to it. The objective of church music is to enhance a spiritual involvement, military marches are intended to augment the martial spirit, soft background music in supermarkets is supposed to soothe the harried shopper, movie music is designed to underscore the story, one’s stereo or radio playing softly while one is doing something else is meant only as a background sound for company, music for ballet serves to mark time and to add to the visual impression, and so forth. In other situations, however, music becomes the primary, or even sole, preoccupation of the listener, although the mind may wander—recalling, associating, and forming personal memories, images, and thoughts stimulated by the music. In all these functions, and particularly in the last one, the listener’s environment is of great importance.


Attenuation Assure Rium Sorb Ideal Hall 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic / Plenum Publishers, New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael J. Moravcsik
    • 1
  1. 1.University of OregonUSA

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