THE LISTENER *
1) turn on the CD player and amplifier
2) open the disk-tray on the CD player
3) remove the disk from its holder
4) place the disk in the disk-tray
5) close the tray
6) locate the remote-control for the CD
7) find a comfortable position in the listening environment
8) press PLAY on the remote-control
(3 or 4-second pause)
a) Was it a clean beginning?
b) How is the fidelity of the recording?
c) Does the starting tempo feel exactly right?
d) What is the range of pitch variation in the music? How many octaves or registers are being used?
e) Is the music living up to its initial promise expressed in the first few seconds?
f) How is the dynamic balance? Are there sounds which are too loud, too soft.
g) Overall, is the music satisfying? Do I feel good listening to this music? Does it hold my interest?
h) Now that the general pace has been established, does the tempo or pulse of the music feel comfortable? Is it too fast, or slow?
i) How is the timing. Does the music speed up or slow down in just the right way?
j) Is attention being given to every sound or phrase, or are some sounds being slighted in favor of others?
k) Is the overall structure coherent? What about content? What is the music about?
l) What are the ideas or concepts underlying the music? Is the music simulating or modeling familiar themes or events?
m) Is the timing of the music appropriate? What about pacing and synchronization? Is the music rhythmically stable?
n) Is the music too dense, or too sparse?
o) What about tone color? Is the combination of intensity and dynamics carefully balanced throughout the music?
p) Are the beginnings and endings of sounds and phrases varied in relation to their position in the music?
q) Is the sound projecting outward? Does it have a clear ‘presence’? Is the sound focused?
r) Does the music sound stiff, or does it seem spontaneous and animated?
s) Does the sound seem free and relaxed?
t) Is there a specific character or identity to the music? to each phrase or pattern? What about the different sections of the music?
u) Are smaller relationships evident? Are the larger structural relationships identifiable?
v) What about the overall continuity of the music? In what form or shape is the music evolving?
w) Am I interested in this music? Am I moved by it? Is it powerful or stimulating?
x) Will the music change me or my perceptions?
y) How will this piece end? Will it resolve itself in exactly the right way?
z) How was the overall duration? Too long, too short?
* (When reading aloud, except for the subtitle, do not read words or letter-characters in italics.)