Brain Pickings posts an “outline of the seven essential skills of perceptive listening, which author and composer Elliott Schwartz argues have been “dulled by our built-in twentieth-century habit of tuning out” and thus need to be actively developed“.
4. If we want to read, write or talk about music, we must acquire a working vocabulary. Music is basically a nonverbal art, and its unique events and effects are often too elusive for everyday words; we need special words to describe them, however inadequately.
That one in particular resonated with me, reminding me of how, during my days at Londonist, in the back of my mind there was always a thought that writing about music was ultimately futile. That was an internet age ago, of course. (I started writing for Londonist when it was founded, in 2004.) Nowadays, it’s much more common for artists to post stuff online so you can actually listen to the music being reviewed or promoted.