I love music. I love it so much that if I hear it I need to do nothing else. At least nothing that requires that I think about anything other than the song.
I listen to music while I clean my house, while I cook, while I drive, and while I lie around listening to music. I cannot listen to music while I write. Or work. Or carry a conversation. If someone invites me to a party or dinner and there is background music, I cannot pay attention (to what they’re saying. I pay attention to the lyrics of the song just fine.)
Luca claims he listens to music while he works, but if you turn it off and ask him what he was listening to, he can’t say. He tells me he loves a song but if I ask him what it’s about he doesn’t know (even when he’s been listening to said song for years.)
If a friend asks me to “listen to this” I feel the task has to be done with respect towards the request. I stop everything. I lean towards the speakers. I close my eyes.
I can relate to this compulsion to multitask, but why must we fragment pleasure? Why must we risk sensory overload? Why not give in to the full invitation that is a good tune?
Can you listen to music while you work or while you do any other task that requires concentration? If so, are you listening, or are you reducing it to white noise? Do you heed the lyrics, or just the notes?
When it’s a song you like, how soon after it starts do you recognize it? How often do you know who’s singing?
And, if you’re with me and I insist on belting out the entire lyrics, would you be irritated, or would you join in?