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On The Occassion Of rock nyc's Second Year Anniversary: How Writing Changed The Way I Listen To Music

I used to listen to music while working, for example I was correcting papers with a musical background, but I recently realized that I can’t do that anymore: music requires too much of my concentration and prevents me to focus on anything else. When I listen to music now, I really listen to it, I mean all my neurons are captivated by it and there are none left for another task.

Researchers say multitasking is an illusion anyway, people who are pretending they can do two things at the same time are actually switching between one task and another, and very few people can actually do it very well; one of the tasks may suffer greatly from this constant switching and this ends up being very counterproductive. A neurobiologist even wrote ‘trying to multi-task is like running Microsoft Vista on an old computer’,… it does not work!

I suppose that before, I was listening to music while working but not paying much attention to the music most of the time, it did not occupy much of my brain space… since I have been writing about music it’s different: I constantly try to analyze it, deconstruct  it, de-layer it, and I am not even talking about lyrics! So it requires all my attention and I cannot do anything else.

It’s annoying in a way, but it is a much richer way to listen to music, it’s deeper and fuller, like having a more developed musical sense.

But there is also another aspect about writing about music, it actually expanded my listening interest span, I don’t know exactly why and how it happened but my tastes, or let’s say my interests, have changed and evolved a little.

Many studies have shown that most people have formed their tastes in music by the age of 18-20, and become less open to new musical experiences as they age. It’s understandable as brain material is less and less malleable with age, the circuits are fixed and hard to change. So listening more attentively to music may have shaken these circuits up a little and I see myself  listening to more experimental music, more hardcore punk, more electronic,… oh there are some limits, my tastes are still more or less the same and I will never even like House, Techno or David Guetta or The Black Eyed Peas, but there’s hope for the rest.


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