Category Archives: Blog post #6

Blog Post #6

In “Living with Music” Ralph Ellison describes that music affected his living experience in his New York City apartment building by observing people who live close to him, but rather than observing his subjects, he often hears them through his walls of his apartment building. In hearing these sounds it reinforces his perception of the place and community. Ellison mentions the sounds of loud neighbors that drive him mad as he wishes for peace and quiet, he starts to hear the sounds surrounding him in a dissimilar way once he starts making his own sounds in the apartment. He hears the sounds as a depiction of his neighbor’s lives rather than assorted noise.

Ellison mentions “In those days it was either live with music or die with noise”. What Ellison means by this is that there is a dissimilarity between the two types of sounds, which are music and noise. Ellison would fight noise with noise and realized that when his neighbor finished singing, and with music in his own apartment, the chaotic sounds from without and above had sunk. This juncture is where the distinction between noise and music is clear. Ellison has the option to either hear music from his city-dwellers or be disrupted by the noises that disintegrate the silence.

In  Ways of hearing episode 2: Space, Krukowski speaks about noise and his experience growing up in New York City. Krukowski mentions the noise of the city as “less of a roar and more like being hit with a massive wave of sounds and people”. And mentions how listening to music using heads phones cancels the city noise. This point is similar to that of Ralph Ellison because yet again there is a clear distinction between two sounds which are noise and music. The city noise is that of Ellison’s apartment building noise and Ellison cancelled out the noise by playing music in his apartment while Krukowski explains how technology like headphones cancels out the loud city noise.

blog post 6

In “Living with Music”, Ralph Ellison describes how music affects his living experience in his New York City apartment building in many ways. He describes many things related to the noise he hears around him. His apartment is surrounded by many different noises like the cats and dogs or the singer who lived above him. He describes some of his experiences as positive and some of them as negative.

In the first sentence when he says “In those days it was either live with music or die with noise…” he means they had to live with all the sounds around his apartment. He described how he tried many things like audio equipment to prevent the noise. He chose to desperately live instead.

There are many comparisons between Ellison’s essay and episode 2 of Damon Krukowski’s Ways of hearing. Both described the noises they hear around them. They also talked about experiences in New York. They both talked about sound and noise that added to their experience in New York.


blog post #6

Ralph Ellison describes where he lives, the sounds he hears, and what he sees around him. The things that he hears and sees every day, and describing his noisy neighbors Also, how they are loud and they play music and How he hears all the sounds from outside from the people and the cats and dogs. It all affected the way he lived because he would hear it all the time. and would have to try to cope with the noise and live with it.
He means by saying ”In those days it was either live with music or die with noise” that he had to put up with the nouse so he had to live with the music. trying to make it into something positive or he would spend the rest of the time he stayed  there he would be miserable with the noise
Ways of hearing and The soundscape are similar because since he is used to the sounds he hears. He can learn to ignore them and still hear the noise but he can drown the sounds out. since he has to live with it but he can try to make the best of it. like he says he can drown out the noise with others noises.

Blog Post #6

Ralph Ellison originally speaks of how music affected his living experience in NYC negatively. He was surround by people on all sides of his apartment that made too much noise for him to concentrate.

I think when he said “In those days it was either live with music or die with noise…” he meant you either created your own sounds to drown out the noise or you spent your time listening to others noise.

Two points of comparison between Ellison’s essay and Krukowski’s Ways of Hearing : Space is about how each author speaks of drowning out the noise. Ellison used his music to drown out the sounds around him while in Ways of Hearing, it speaks of people using headphones now-a-days to drown out the sounds of the city.

Blog Post #6

In “Living with Music,” Ralph Ellison talks about living in his New York City apartment building and the neighbors he is forced to listen to through the walls of his apartment. Ellison had hated being forced to listen to all the other surroundings of his apartment at first, but then he starts to miss it when his background noise turned into silence. He then appreciated how hearing all these sounds had helped him grow as a musician.

I think “In those days it was either live with music or die with noise…” means that people have completely different brains and feelings towards music. Like a musician can have a certain way they feel about a piece of what they’re hearing vs what a 10 year old might feel about the same noises. You can hear the honking from the streets as an annoying sound or hear it as your next inspiration for your next song.

In Ellison’s essay he writes about how hearing his noisy neighbors through the walls of his apartment building help him appreciate the background noises and helped him grow as a musician, while in episode 2 of Ways of Hearing, they discuss different ways someone might go about not wanting to hear the noises from other people, like putting on some headphones.



Living with music

Ellison was trying to concentrate on his writing even though it was hard for him to accomplish such a task.
He had occupied a tiny apartment on the ground floor to the rear of his building. Ellison could hear a mixture of sounds each day because of the thin walls of the apartment.

Every morning promptly at nine, he could hear the small jukebox blasting through the thin walls from the small restaurant to his fight of the apartment. He could listen to the cats howling and dogs barking, incapable of making Music worth living with, so he ignored it.

Coming from another side, Ellison could hear various singing or preaching drunks. He had hungered and thirsted for little quiet to listen to the keys of his typewriter.
The singer who lived directly above was devoted to her art. She was not of the best voice he described, screaming on notes that had a ricochet effect bouncing down the walls of the building, sounded like whistled tenpenny nails, and the buzzing of a saw.

After a year of non-co-operation from the neighbor, he decided to call the police officers.
Ellison faced an ethical problem on how hard it is for an aspiring artist to deprive the work of another aspiring artist; he felt guilt.
Ellison had to listen, and in listening, he decided to make noise. With this, he decides to make the whole block suffer from blowing his trumpet, terrorizing a good part of the city by the sustained tones he blew through his window.

Ellison uses Music to annoy his neighbor but then realizes that Music is a constant reminder of what we are and aspire. He realizes that you live with Music or die with noise, and he desperately chooses to live. Because thou art troubled? Music will not only calm, but it will also ennoble thee.

Listening to Schafer and reading Ellison’s essay, there is no significant difference in the soundscape, as soundscape is a combination of sounds and how the listener perceives it. They both understood the sound they heard and meditated upon each one to understand their relation.

But on the contrary, Schafer appreciates each sound as soothing, enthusiastic, while Ellison finds the sounds around him annoying and disruptive.




Blog post 6

Ralph Ellison in “Living with Music” shares his living experiences in his New York City apartment. He details his surroundings and what he hears—music playing from the neighbors being so loud and belligerent drunks. Ralph explains how living near a courtyard and a bar, Ralph can listen to everything. At first, he was annoyed and couldn’t focus on his writing until hearing the music he heard from his neighbors started to motivate him to play the instrument again, creating his own sound.

Ralph Ellison states, “In those days, it was either live with music or die with noise,” which means having to choose between two sounds. Listen to your surroundings and complain or block annoying sounds with the music you create or find.

The episode “Ways of Hearing” talks about the sounds of New York City and where you are at can impact your ability to hear. In “Living with Music” the sounds from Ralph’s surroundings help him understand music.


Blog post #6


In “Living with Music”, Ralph Ellison describes how music affects his living experience in his New York City apartment building. After moving from Oklahoma City to New York city, he learned what the singer faced. In addition, he came to know that many famous musician’s motivation was neither for money nor frame because it was to achieve the most eloquent expression and emotions through the technical mastery of their instruments. At the beginning, his life in New York was hard because of loud noises near his apartment and everywhere surrounding him. Therefore, he decided to fight noise with noise. Since then, he started listening to music and lived with it daily. He was so passionate about music. He said that music is constant, reminding us of what we were and of what we aspire. He says, “Music will not only calm, it will ennoble thee”.

In “Living with Music” Ralph Ellison says “in those days it was either live with music or die with noise” means you need to find some kind of noise (Music) to avoid noise (unnecessary loud noise) because the neighborhood that he lived in was filled with drunk people and a singer. His apartment was next to a small restaurant with a jukebox.  And also, there was a singer, who would play music so loud every morning. Moreover, there were hauling cats and barking dogs. There was no option for him to live his life in peace without noise that is why he says live with music or die with noise.

In “Living with Music”, Ralph Ellison tells us how music has changed his living experience of New York City’s noisy life and the importance of music. Similarly, in “The Soundscape” R. Murray Schafer’s tells us how to classify sounds, appreciating their beauty or ugliness to help us become more aware of sounds around us. In addition, he says that we can avoid unnecessary background noises by listening to music using devices like headphones and earphones.

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Ellison  describes living in nyc as a flood of sound windows open all the time.then he goes on to say that the noises in his four wall around him in his building there was always noise of a neighbor singing and how his rivalry with her renspired his love  and passion for music.


the sentence live with music or die with noises is pretaining to the bustle of noise from nyc .



Ellison  essay and R.Murray Schafers pertain to the noises of the city in the same way as  disturbing noise

Blog Post #6

 In “Living with Music,” Ralph Ellison describes how living in his NYC apartment building made him appreciate music. Before he rediscovered his love for music, he was living with noise that came from every side of his apartment walls, especially the singer on the floor above him. He found escape from unwanted noise by playing radio and eventually leading to buying a speaker system. After he moved away to a new apartment, he then realized how interesting that neighborhood was. He was thankful to the old environment and the singer for making him find one of the most gratifying aspects of living – music.  

 “In those days it was either live with music or die with noise.” He meant that we either die being annoyed and angry over the noise that we cannot control, or we make our peace with the noise by finding our own escape by listening to music.  

 In Ways of Hearing, Damon Krukowski mentions that with modern technology people have found limitless options to block noise and create their own private bubbles. Similarly, in Ellison’s essay, he experimented with modern technologies to block the noise and listen to the desired sound.  

Blog post 6

He describes his experience as he was surrounded by all the sounds and unable to control it as it was by his neighbors. It influenced him in ways that made him see the passion that others have for music; and made him appreciate music and how he heard it.

He means that you can live music by hearing the sounds the neighbors produce, understanding that it’s a passion for them. In turn, you’d make the best of it and create your own. Die with the noise means that hearing all the sounds coming from the noisy neighbors and not doing anything to block it out could leave one feeling irritated and mentally drained by the constant sound of music.

The comparison between Ellison and Damon Krukowski is that they experience similar noise from the neighborhood, and had to find to deal with it. The solution to that was music and how they hear it.