Category Archives: Blog post #6

Blog Posts #6

  1. In “Living with Music”, Ralph Ellison describes music as a way to relax and avoid listening to all the noises around him. At the beginning of the passage, Ellison lives in an apartment in New York City, where it’s extremely noisy because on his right side, there’s a restaurant that plays music loud through a jukebox, and on his left side, there’s a man who blasts music every morning, causing Ellison’s typewriter to move. In addition, he describes how arguing and fighting would occasionally break out, and there would be people being drunk almost all the time. Overall, Ellison using music affects his living experience because it’s a way to escape from all of the chaos going on in his neighborhood.
  2. When Ellison said, “In those days it was either live with music or die with noise”, he means that you either enjoy listening to the sounds that you like, like music, or don’t enjoy listening to sounds at all, labeling it as noise.
  3. The comparison between Ellison’s essay and Schafer’s “The Soundscape” shows how Ellison experienced a soundmark. In “The Soundscape”, Schafer established that the term, soundmark, is a landmark where sound possesses unique qualities by those living there. This can be seen in “Living with Music” when the singer above his ceiling gave him memories of his childhood. When Ellison was a kid, he practiced the trumpet, causing noise and disruption to all of those around him. So overall, Ellison hearing the singer above him reminded him of the time when he caused noise just by practicing a musical instrument.

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.

I.N blog post 6

  •  Ralph Ellinson describes how he was very influenced by the Sound around him and how he got used to it. In between of all the sound that he could not get rid of them but better get used to them. In his essay he talks about his neighbor and how the sound of her goes throughout his apartment as if she was by his side. In addition he talks about a guy that used to sing in the corner and passed away. I think that what he did with his environment was the same as the motto says “if you can not fight with the enemy, be a teammate of his”. It may not be an enemy to him but the sound gets to some limits that bother and the last thing he has to do is just get used to it. At the end he just was wishing well of the drunk guy that used to sing in the corner

  •  The deal is that he does music and looking inside in this phrase it is easy to say that this was because of what he was living. What you rather would do, listen to the environment sound, that not always may be good or adequate or listen to the music you want or the one that you create?, there is a big common thing between R. Murray Schafer’s and Ralph Allison and it is the NYC sound around their flat.

  • The common points and very interesting one was that both of  them have some history with the sound of New York City which is a true reality.One of them is a podcast and the other is a essay but the feeling with the NYC sound is almost the same because they both had to get used to them, after getting used to thing around you, you may develop certain feeling with them. Therefore that’s what happens with each of them, R. Murray Schafer’s with the sound of everything that comes throughout the window  and the city sound and Ralph  Ellison with his neighbors and music or voice sounds.

Blog Post #6

In ” Living with music” Ralph Ellison described that music affects his living experience in his New York City apartment building by hearing things in his neighborhood as he described, drunk and singer noise. Living there inspired him because there were many passionate musicians who lived in his building and made him think about how the importance of the sound of music is.

When he said “In those days it was either live with music or die with noise” means as a person we need to choose whatever sound we want to listen to. There are a lot of noises in the world that we don’t want to hear. We need to choose which sound that good for us. If we can’t choose, we will live our life with overwhelming feelings. Some noises are not good for our mental health or our ears, for example screaming sound, and construction sound. So we need to listen to some things that fulfill our happiness like some music. Music can keep people sane in this crazy and unpleasant noisy world.

Ellison’s essay mostly talked about his life experience through surroundings sounds from his New York City apartment building. Likewise, in “The Soundscape”, Schafer talked about sound and how it affects the space surrounding it. Both of them focus on sound and space.


Blog Post #6

Ralph Ellison describes he is observant of those who live near him but he hears them more than visually seeing them. He explains how hearing sounds strengthens his sense of place in his community. The difference between noise and music is people who listen to sound as noise listen differently and as more of a disturbance or miserable compared to music which is more ambient and pleasurable. I think a good comparison between both essays would be how both choose how or what they listen to. They both listen to their surroundings whether that Ellison in his apartment building or Krukowski on a walk.

Blog Post #6 Prompt

In “Living with Music,” how does Ralph Ellison describe how music affects his living experience in his New York City apartment building?

What does he mean by the first sentence of the piece? (“In those days it was either live with music or die with noise…”)

Can you think of points of comparison between Ellison’s essay and either R. Murray Schafer’s “The Soundscape” or Episode 2 of Damon Krukowski’s Ways of Hearing?