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Re: repeat listenings

Matthew Marth (mmarth@nsca.org)
Tue, 21 Oct 1997 16:45:00 -0500

Julia Ward wrote:
>
> What is it that we get from repeat listenings of music. Why can we
> listen to a particular piece of music over and over and over, then
> suddenly its old? And if it is a particularly good piece, you can put it
> away for a while and then when you listen to it again it is no longer
> old?...much like food(taste)?

There really isn't any unique interaction with music at the level of
repetitive exposure as far as I experience it. What I mean is: the
relationship we have with music--our relative ability to enjoy repeat
listenings--is not just a phenomenon of music. As you mentioned, food
evokes a similar response, as do visual stimuli, tactile stimuli, etc. I
think the question has to do more with the mind's relationship to
body--issues of stimulus and response as they apply to deeper issues of
personal aesthetic. I think the question is probably unanswerable
because it would involve so many levels of understanding to truly answer
with confidence.What it seems you're really asking is, "Why do I like
what I like, and why do I sometimes get sick of it?" Maybe you should
ask someone who does brain/psychological research.