Critical and Analytical Listening

It is important to be able to employ two approaches to listening to audio – critical and analytical. It will be important to have the ability to be a good listener, either through the ears of an engineer, or that of an artist.

White succinctly put critical listening as the judgment of the physical aspect of sound. Analytical listening, on the other hand, deals with feeling and meaning evoked or invoked by a sound. This is what is described as the essence of recording, as all the good production techniques in the world will not matter if a sound’s meaning is lost in the recording.

Everyone must have a good grasp of both even before the first production plans are to be discussed. Once the class gets the hang of this, it should be easier for them to be applied when accommodating the performers.

Please read as much as you can from the references cited below, especially the one written by White. You will need the information you get from them.


D’Virgilio, N. 2014. How to listen: Part 3 — analytical and critical listening. Retrieved August 9, 2015 from

 Rochman, D. 2013. Critical listening: how to train your ears. Retrieved August 9, 2015 from

 White, M. (undated). Critical listening vs. analytical listening: two ways to listen to music productions. Retrieved August 5,2015 from