5 Things to Pay Attention to When Listening to Music
By listening for each of these five components of a piece of music, you can build up your active listening skills.
As an active listener, see if you can identify every musical instrument on a recording. If you're hearing the music live, try to pick out the individual lines played by each musician.
In popular music, listen to the song form—verse, chorus, bridge, etc.—to study how the songwriter structures the tune. In classical music, try to identify formal structures, such as a fugue, a sonata form, or a dance style like a rondo or mazurka. Having a background in music theory will help immensely in this regard.
Is the music you're hearing aligned with a particular musical genre? Do you hear elements of other genres as well?
Decide for yourself whether you like the way the instrumentalists and vocalists perform. You may love what you hear, or you may note imperfections.
Focus on imagery, figurative language, and rhyme scheme.