I'm just curious as to what everybody's mind does when listening to a piece of music. I know we got composers all around, people who play various instruments, recording engineers... How does your particular musical background, and perhaps usual/favourite genres of music, affect how you listen to a piece and how you appreciate it?
For myself, I tend to hear the composition more than the performance. I'm not really sure if this is due to my musical background being in choral music, but my mind has a habit of just starting to pick out all the different parts. I'll forgive a mediocre performance if I like the way it's written, but woe to you if you've written a bass part consisting of 4 notes in total (just kidding, just kidding! Okay, not entirely, but it does make it difficult to listen to a lot of popular music...). I don't tend to focus a whole lot on the dynamics quite as much, or the nuances of each instrument's performance, though relative balance of each part gets noticed. Stereo/spatial positioning is totally lost on me... When I listen to vocal music, whether popular music or not, for some reason lyrics tend to get ignored until subsequent hearings...
So as I think of all this, I have to make a conscious effort to pay more attention to the things I tend to overlook... especially for working on my own pieces. That's why it always is good to get other opinions
What do you hear when you listen to music?