I realize some readers are musicians, others are not. You don't have to read music, or play an instrument, or even sing well, to enjoy music. Although, I do believe some of your best musical experiences do come from performance. With that said, How do you listen to music? The answer is of (research) interest to me, but I know I've asked the question before. Some I suspect fall somewhere in one of these camps: * Listen with eyes closed, no distractions * Listen reading: book, web, magazine, CD liner notes * Listen following a score * Listen to music as background music I personally have done all four; I find my favorites are the "no distractions" mode and the "with a score" mode. Funny thing is, CDs do not come with the conductor's score, do they? That's why a find like the Icking Music Archive is a real find. Here I can follow Vivaldi's La Follia trio sonata, a Bach Cantata, or a Biber sonata note by note. Many of these are so-called Urtext editions, meaning they don't have an editor's interpretation written over the notes. What I find valuable is seeing what the performers do in the way of improvisation. If you don't normally follow a score, you certainly should try... you'll gain a lot more respect for the performers and their challenges.