Music Becomes What It Is 

When listening shifts to hearing, our attention moves from what we are listening to, to the act of hearing. Our attention is no longer directed towards the music, as an external sensory ‘object’, but towards the act of hearing. 

When listening, all we have is the music we are listening to. In hearing, the whole event opens to us. Then, we become part of the music and the music becomes part of us. 

We enable music to be heard by hearing it. So, two people at the same performance may be present at two different performances: one listens, and the other hears. For one, the music remains on the outside: an audible phenomenon. For the other, Music becomes what it is. 

Robert Fripp
Wednesday 20th. September, 2000 
Mount Juliet, Tennessee, USA