Listening Music, Background Music, and Defensive Music

· bodega

So often I put music on and then go on to do other things: write, work, clean, organize—anything that doesn’t require talking or listening to speech, really.
This is so different from putting on (or going to) music and really listening to it. In the latter case, the music is your primary focus of attention. It’s a whole different beast.
Sometimes, when I notice myself not really enjoying the background music (and my choice of music is frequently not *easy* listening, more often something fast and bulbous) I realize I need to turn it off and work with some silence or with just my own sounds.

That’s when, sometimes, the noises outside from the street, the neighbors, the passing sonic boom boxes, the freeway, themselves are distracting or irritating or otherwise intrusive. Then I have to put music on defensively, creating a kind of organic white noise (what was pink noise? I remember a button on my dad’s hi-fi in the ’70s).

Have you ever had to play music in your home to drown out your neighbors’ music or noise? Have you ever deliberately played music loud to annoy your neighbors?

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