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Listening to Music

A Minute with Miles
SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours
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The truth is, there’s no single right way to listen to music.

Different people listen to music in different ways and for different reasons. And the same people listen to music in different ways and for different reasons, depending on when they’re listening. Some people have music on in their homes during meals, some while they’re relaxing, some in the background while they’re working, and some all the time. And some people absolutely can’t work if there’s music on in the background, and only want to hear music when they can pay close attention, whether it’s at home or in a concert hall. The truth is, there’s no single right way to listen to music. Our needs and intentions naturally vary in different situations, and we’re perfectly entitled to listen to music in one way at one time and in another way at another. People listen to music in elevators, it’s true; but couples kiss in elevators, too, and at airport ticket counters… and I doubt it would occur to them that that’s all that kissing can – or should – ever be.

This has been A Minute with Miles – a production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the J.M. Smith Corporation.

Miles Hoffman is the founder and violist of the American Chamber Players, with whom he regularly tours the United States, and the Virginia I. Norman Distinguished Visiting Professor of Chamber Music at the Schwob School of Music, in Columbus, Georgia. He has appeared as viola soloist with orchestras across the country, and his solo performances on YouTube have received well over 700,000 views.