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This entry sets out to give a definition of “listening” and explores some of the manifold senses in which the term is used. It goes on to demonstrate the complexity of listening as a sensory activity and outlines key approaches to listening within sound studies, examining some of the consequences of these approaches for the framing of listeners and listening practices. “Mode” has become a popular term for the designation of particular types or ways of listening in sound studies. Drawing on ethnographic research conducted in a modern British hospital, the entry draws attention to some of the different “modes of listening” found in that setting. However, in response to the tendency within sound studies to identify an ever-increasing number of modes of listening, the entry points to the way modes became merged within the research context and were integrated in the holistic context of lived sonic experience.

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