This is an interesting piece from The Telegraph:
Composer, performer, listener. They’re what Benjamin Britten once called the “Holy Trinity”, the three cornerstones of the musical experience. But we only ever hear about the first two. Look at the music section of any bookstore, and what you see are rows of books on the people who compose music
, and on the people who play it. They are the stars of the show, whose names go ringing down the centuries.
Hardly anyone writes about listeners, and yet their story should be told as well, because it’s the listeners who complete the musical experience. Their thoughts and feelings are like the blossom at the apex of the rose, or the pleasure the diner gets from all that effort and careful artistry in the kitchen.However there’s a problem with telling the listeners’ story. What composers and performers do is reassuringly solid. They produce musical works, written down on paper, and performers use crafted objects to bring them to life, such as pianos and violins and synthesizers.
Supporting their efforts is a huge infrastructure of concert halls and publishers and radio stations. Much of this still exists, and those parts which have vanished have left traces behind. So its story can be told.