The question is not why you like a piece, or appreciate a piece of music. (What is music appreciation anyway? But that's another story.)

The only question to consider is why you love a particular piece of music.

You don’t love a piece because it sounds more or less like some other piece of music. Rather, you love it because it sounds utterly different. You love a piece because it is one-of-a-kind. You noticed that it was different right from the start, the very first time you heard it. This difference is a moment in the music. It could be a melody or a rhythm. It could be a chord or a timbre. It could be anything. What you love about the piece is this new sound. The piece resonates with the new sound. The piece is the new sound.

Our most powerful and most formative experiences with music happen suddenly, unexpectedly, in the physical encounter with a new sound.

That is the idea which I am exploring in these pages and in my forthcoming book, Listening For New Music, A Composer Explores Our Most Powerful Experiences of Music.


This abstract provides a brief overview of Listening For New Music  LINK

And here are links to the first two chapters:

  • One: Why Does Sally Love a Note?  LINK 
  • Two: The Island of Music in a Major Key  LINK 

Here is a PDF for my article, Hearing Music with the Ears of a Composer, published in Leonardo Music Journal 26 - December 2016, Lend Me Your Ears! Sound and Reception   LINK

And here is a link to Leonardo Music Journal online   LINK

Here is a short essay, "Composing is a special way of listening"  LINK