Listening Lessons 2023/24

15.11.23 - 15.05.24

For the past two decades or so, the very idea of music reproduction has undergone a mutation that, beyond the albeit interesting technological aspects resulting from the transition from analog to digital, has ended up affecting aspects that we might call "anthropological." The introduction of portable devices first and then the availability of platforms for downloading (at first clandestine and later legalized) what we now call "content," but to which we once referred using the term "music," has had two consequences: listening has become a private affair, since it is done predominantly through headphones, thus relegating music to the role of "soundtrack," background for the most varied daily activities such as running, studying, working, socializing, etc. Second, despite having the best technologies since the very idea of audio reproduction was introduced, this quality is not valued, given the scarcity of the devices with which people predominantly listen nowadays: smartphones, TVs and, in some rare cases, the car system. We might further add that the sales model that privileges the single audio track has resulted in the disintegration of opera as the generation of music fans who grew up with 33-rpm vinyl first and the CD later knew it.

The series of "listening lessons" stems from these considerations and aims to (re) bring the public closer to a reasoned and critical enjoyment of reproduced music, recounting in a simple and informative way the current panorama of audio reproduction, this season with the authoritative point of view of two great musicians.


Vinyl has been overwhelmingly back in fashion for a few years now. Between vintage, modernism and many new products. But is it really a harbinger of better performance than the now prevailing digital ? We will make some considerations, with comparative listening between an entry-level and a high-performance turntable and toward digital, to understand all together where the myth ends and reality begins.

Much of music listening is now done via Bluetooth and with amplified speakers using this connection. But is this really enough to ensure quality listening to music, especially one that respects the artist’s expressive intent? We will do some interesting comparison listening, turning our attention to connection in general and comparing a good quality speaker with a small Hi-Fi system. We are going to see some good things.

A musician has a different perspective on quality listening in music, Starting with classical music we will analyze how much pop, rock, progressive, and disco music actually derives from Bach and other classical composers by delving into how it has significantly influenced and influences modern music. All this while noting how music needs quality listening in order to be properly perceived, leaving those who enjoy it with the most emotion.

We live in a world in which remasters rule the day. Reprints, new editions, and box sets. We are constantly being offered new releases that promise decisive improvements in engraving quality, but is this always the case ? Are the new editions really better than the old ones ? Or are they a cash cow and there is very little that is “new”? We will listen to many new recordings in comparison, making some interesting points.

Is there a discernible difference between an entry-level audio product and a mid-range or high-end one? Many believe that there are none or that their magnitude is negligible. Others are convinced that some particularly inexpensive products are almost miraculously able to compete on equal terms with their more emblazoned and expensive counterparts. Unfortunately, this is not the case; as in every commodity segment, quality has a cost. But when we talk about quality in audio, what exactly do we mean? What do we purchase by spending more in purely sonic terms? By means of comparing components of different price ranges-namely amplifiers-we will try to clarify this concept.

Streaming services, in quantity and quality, can now replace any music collection on physical media. If vinyl, and to a lesser extent CD, offer tactility, tickling collectibles and the pleasure of ownership, streaming music can offer the music lover a new dimension by bringing interconnections and nuances to the surface. We will make qualitative and quantitative considerations, offering an interesting overview of the extraordinary research capabilities of Roon, the most powerful software for organizing intangible music, which is also capable of handling biographies, reviews, and connections between musicians. In short, a whole new way to enjoy music on file.

It is not so common to find a famous musician who is also fond of Hi-Fi. Often great artists pay little attention to quality listening, the intimate listening done within the walls of the home. And it is really interesting to have the point of view of those who really understand music, knowing it intimately. We will talk about it, in a really interesting, unique and undoubtedly exciting discussion.

Lezione singola: 5€