PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
M. Wynn ThomasThe Other Side of the Hedge
(PN Review 239)
Jamie OsbornIn conversation with Sasha Dugdale
(PN Review 240)
Next Issue Alberto Manguel Selbstgefühl New poems by Fleur Adcock, Claudine Toutoungi and Tuesday Shannon James Campbell A Walk through the Times Literary Supplement
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
PN Review New Issue

This article is taken from PN Review 180, Volume 34 Number 4, March - April 2008.

The Way of Music Robin Maconie

This series is about how and why we listen and how to listen to music creatively and confidently. It is designed to develop reasoning skills through programmed exercises in critical thinking and listening for readers of every culture, whether or not they have formal musical qualifications. The six-books-in-one format can be read randomly as a source of provocative ideas, or sequentially as a series of learning packages leading from discussion topics about the hearing process to critical engagement with actual pieces from classical and world music. A listening programme is easy to set up, stimulating to take part in, and can greatly improve student confidence and writing skills.

'Classical music has a strong effect on me mentally. The music seems to motivate me and many times it inspires me when I am on the verge of quitting. I somehow feel like a better person.'

From Book One: 101 Ways of Hearing a Dog Bark

What you hear is the truth.
The rest is up to you.

A dog barks:
Woof! Woof!

An unseen dog that barks
is still a dog.

If you can hear it,
then you can hear.

In a bark,
a dog exists.

From Book Two: Walking the Dog
What you hear is the truth. The rest is up to you.
In order to come to a decision at all about what a sound is, or what it ...

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image