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Listening and Hearing: Are They the Same Thing?

Autor:   •  February 4, 2019  •  1,455 Words (6 Pages)  •  71 Views

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of fear.

In a similar way, you’re most likely listening to the professor teach when you’re in a classroom. You might not truly be listening to the air conditioning blasting in the back or the kid a few desks away tapping his pen on the desk. You might passively hear a mixture of all these sounds in the background, but you won’t actively listen to it the way you’re listening to your professor teach.

Critically reading and interpreting a sound as text is just as easy as listening to your professor teach in class. When you read and interpret sound as text, you are still attentively listening, just with more thought into it. Sound can easily be communicated rhetorically through ethos, pathos, and logos. Ethos is ethical and it includes awareness, professionalism and sometimes even endorsement. Pathos is emotional and appeals to both high and low emotions. Logos is logical and appeals to reason. A simple car alarm can be critically read and interpreted through these three. The loud combination of different, high-pitched and low-pitched alarming sounds can represent ethos by creating a sense of awareness. It tells someone nearby that auto theft could be taking place or maybe that even someone got a little too close to the car. Pathos would be utilized by creating a sense of panic, chaos, and maybe even uneasiness. Logos would be utilized by creating the urge to go out and see what is truly the purpose of the alarm going off. Altogether, the car alarm has been read and interpreted.

Most people understand music through the same exact process as well. When listening to the song “Bust Your Windows” by Jazmine Sullivan, I first hear the dramatic instrumental introduction. The violin in the background creates an eerie feel throughout the song.That notifies me that the song will have a dramatic effect throughout and also have a serious topic. Her lyrics show how angry she is over a heartbreak:

I bust the windows out your car

And, no, it didn’t mend my broken heart

I’ll probably always have these ugly scars

But right now, I don’t care about that part

You can hear the pain in Sullivan’s voice, allowing you to connect with her through a personal experience. She’s letting her listeners know about the pain she went through leading to the busting of the windows and how it later made her feel. Through her lyrics, she makes it clear she doesn’t regret her actions by constantly saying “You deserved it. I ain’t sorry no, no” (Sullivan). Altogether, you’re able to understand the meaning of the song; in other words, you have successfully read and interpreted the song.

Works Cited

Glennie, Evelyn, “How to truly listen | Evelyn Glennie” Youtube, uploaded by TED, 14 May


Hughes, Virginia. “Sound and Touch Collide” Nautilus, 9 July 2015,

“Jazmine Sullivan – Bust Your Windows.” Genius, 16 Sept. 2008,

Sullivan, Jazmine.16 Sept. 2008. Bust Your Windows. On Fearless. J. Puppy Love. Arista.


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