Critical Listening Questions

The following questions are to be answered in the listening section of the weekly classes. At the start of each class there will be a 10 – 15 minute listening section that the students will dissect an audio example and write down and identify audio characteristics they hear followed by an open discussion and Q&A about the audio example. The students are required to add one of their own questions every week on their blog.

  1. Is the example bright, warm, or low in volume?
  2. What are the sounds and visuals in the example?
  3. What kind of voice is it: Male, Female or Computer?
  4. Can you hear S’s or pops or background noise?
  5. Take a guess at how it was recorded. (Live, Tracked or overdubbed, is it voice over)
  6. Do you like the example? Why or why not?
  7. Is the audio example long or short?
  8. How does the example make you feel?
  9. Does it have sound? Or missing a sound?
  10. Where is this music in relation to the people recording it?
  11. Do you know where the artists are in terms of the audio being recorded?
  12. What’s the temperature where the recording is taking place?
  13. What’s the humidity or is it dry, Maybe it is raining or sunny outside the recording place?
  14. Is it an open place or does the recording have walls?
  15. Does the recording have a ceiling? Is the ceiling right on top or is it a long way away? Maybe none and outdoors?
  16. Are the walls made of stone or wood, or are they some other material?
  17. Is the recording place stable or do you feel like you are not quite secure in it, like a boat? All of these things you can specify with reverberation. What kind of reverb is it? Or echo?
  18. Is it being recorded on land or on water, maybe something else?
  19. Are there any psychological cues that the artist want’s you to receive?
  20. Is the recording trying to define a place for you to experience?

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