Maturing stages of the musical mind.
1) hear - to perceive or sense sounds
2) listen - to make a conscious effort to hear; attend closely, so as to hear
3) hearken - to give careful attention; listen carefully
I love the word "hearken" because it means that a person is engaged with what they are hearing or listening to, and seek to find meaning in it. If a person is hearkening to the messages of music, not only are they opening themselves up to the sonic landscape of a piece, but they are understanding the narrative that is being conveyed. The narrative can be a virtual flow of emotions, a narrative of sonic action. Hearkening means taking something away with you after the piece is over, and growing in the ability to relate musical works, by both comparisons and contrasts. A person who hearkens to great music will learn to love and be absorbed by the imaginary soundscape that the composer and performers have created.