Have you ever stopped listening to music?

Sometimes when talking about their hifi journey, people mention that for a while they stopped listening to music. I thought it may be interesting to share experiences: Why did you stop? What re-triggered your enthusiasm?

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I’ll kick off by being boring: it has never happened to me. I do recall a time when money was so tight with large mortgage and high interest rates, when I bought only a handful of records over several years - but I never stopped playing what I already had.

When my children were born I didn’t stop playing - and didn’t turn it low or stop when they went to bed, as I reasoned that if I tiptoed around them I’d create a need to continue tiptoing my only concession was to not have high volume sessions when they were in the room. Of course it helped that I had big, heavy floorstander speakers that toddlers couldn’t knock over (and with grilles on tgere was nothing visible to touch) However I did lose a stylus on a MC cartridge, which prompted a move of TT into a cupboard with a childproof lock on the door (sound organisation rack in the cupboard, and playable just a bit fiddly accessing).

I have never stopped listening to music since I bought my first album, Guns ‘N Roses Appetite For Destruction on cassette as a 12 year old, however I have not always had a HiFi system to listen on. Sometimes my life has dictated that the time I get to listen to music is in the car or at the gym. Not sure if this counts or not. For most of my adult life I have had a HiFi system and have activly been to see bands all over the world. In that sense I have never stopped listening to music, as its as much a part of my life as eating or breathing, but I have had periods where I stopped ‘listening’ in a serious kind of way and just listened as and when it was convinient.

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Periodically I stop listening to music … is it the demands of the day, distractions from family, the radio or tv? I’m never sure. I get around it by playing an album when I go to bed; recently I found paradise radio very stimulating, not just in introducing new music but reminding me of golden oldies.

Hmmm… I see I was uncharacteristically imprecise. :grin:

In starting the thread I did rather mean stopped bothering beyond the odd few hours or sometimes days imposed by normal activities: E.g. ceased bothering to turn the hifi on for months or years, possibly even selling it, even selling or otherwise disposing if your music collection, though possibly still turning the radio on in the car, but out of habit or to drown out the journey, rather than for the sake of the music.

My listening has fluctuated over time, but music has always been a feature of my life to some extent. For me the worst time for listening to music was when I was living with a partner who had totally different taste in music to me. Listening would often happen when they were out. Mostly during the day if we were both in, we would listen to R4 to avoid listening to each others choice in music. Buying of new music has also fluctated and over recent years have been sporadic, a steady trickle of new music arriving. Now I have more time and inclination I am listening to more new or new to me stuff and revisiting my old vinyl and cd collection. It is great rediscovering some great albums/tracks again.

I stopped around 2000, various things happened we relocated back to the UK from the US. In amongst a house makeover the Naim Hifi which was CDS, 282, hicap active 250,s and SBL,s ended up stored…never to be used again until sold a few years later. Career took up a lot of time, children, music did not grab me at the time, punk era etc. Now retired and really enjoying music again and realise I had missed some good music even when at the time I thought it was barren. Big regret now, is selling the Naim system cost a lot of money to get back to what I like listening to.

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Although I didn’t completely stop listening to music, my only musical source for around 3 years was a small transistor radio when I moved down south (and into shared rental accommodation) and began my first period of employment following graduation. My hi-fi system that I had saved for by working over a number of summer vacations (Transcriptors Hydraulic reference TT, 9" Fluid unipivot arm, Sonus Blue cartridge, Technics RS279US cassette deck, Pioneer tuner, Cambridge P50/II amp and Celestion Ditton 66 speakers) was left at my parents’ house.

When I moved on to my 2nd Employer and purchased my own first house, I couldn’t wait to get back into the music/hi-fi scene. I decided to leave my old system for my younger brother and bought myself a Manticore Mantra TT with Audio Technica AT-F5 cartridge, Denon DVD1500 CD player, Audiolab 8000A amp and Heybrook HB1 speakers. I was in heaven and haven’t been without a fairly decent music playing system from that day onwards.

Usually when work takes over. An interesting project, pre-release developer tools and deadlines by commitee decisions. Classical (modern) goes first. And I start to listen to grindcore in the car.

I went through a period of depression and during that period, I didn’t want to do any of the things that had always brought joy to me. Music was one such thing that I stopped.
Thankfully, I now listen as much as I ever did, so I reckon I’m no longer depressed :slight_smile:


My closest friend died aged 49 just after my 50th birthday. It was a bewildering period as I learnt the news through a bizarre route which opened a can of worms yet to close. 2 days later I had a 5 figure lottery win.

Our friendship went back to university days and we shared a huge pile of music in common going all the way back to sitting in front of the speakers on my Amstrad tower (see first systems thread) trying to decipher Murmur by R.E.M. when most others hadn’t heard of them.

Unconsciously I stopped opening post (he was a hoarder) and simply couldn’t bring myself to listen to music for about a year. During the same period my then 8 year old was starting on classical guitar and I agreed to learn with him. Spent the year playing music but not listening to any. I’ve a vague recall I still bought stuff periodically but I honestly can’t recall. It’s all a blur. Even now I suspect I largely stay away from a lot of the stuff we shared.

Took me about 18 months to come round.


Thank you for sharing that, Mike. I can see how a traumatic event like that can put everything out of kilter, including music listening. Normally I would expect music to be able to have a cathartic effect, but clearly the shared focus you had had with music brought a different edge.

Thanks. My view of music is the same. I can honestly say that music has saved my life on at least 2 occasions and I would have expected ordinarily to have found catharcism as you describe but life as ever does things you don’t expect. Most people were as shocked as I was that music listening ceased.

Never, ever. No Music, No Life (Tower Records motto)

I moved in with my partner about 10 years ago, into her house which wouldn’t take my hifi, so we had a Bose Wave system as a source. She rapidly fell ill and during her chemo and recovery wasn’t really feeling like listening to music, so I listened to music only when she was out and I wasn’t, maybe one night a week or less. That was quite hard as like several others here music is a part of my sanity.

:thinking: Not since 1963 :crazy_face:

I lost my Mum at the start of March 2009, after she lost her battle with Alzheimer’s and it was a hell of a battle too, it was ‘kin awful at times. It took me five or six months before I could listen to any music, no hifi, no radio even in the car and when I was at my sister’s, I would ask her not to play anything too. Music of any type would set me off welling up.
Before she died I would listen to a lot of classical but since then I very rarely do which is a pity but that’s just how it is. When I eventually started playing music again it had to be fast paced head bangy stuff, maybe because I still felt angry about it all.
It was about a year later that my interest in hifi was re awakened, due to unboxing my old Marantz kit after packing it away when clearing the family home and I’ve been enjoying that journey ever since, even more so and my musical tastes have broadened somewhat but still no classical…

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Speedtrip, my sympathies. I am going through the same at the moment. My Mum is disappearing ever deeper into her own world as each day passes. One of the things I find difficult is that it was Mum who introduced me to so much music, especially classical music when I was younger. She was a member of the World Record Club. I still have the same recording of Beethoven’s 6th. She no longer listens to music prefering chat. However have I found that my listening to music finds the ‘quiet’ I need in this journey. Not necessarily quiet music though, you are right.

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Mhen my mum went through that a few years ago - not Alzheimers, but dementia, music did help me, what was so sad was that in the latter 5 years of her life she never put any music on, though my memory was of the house -from the gphouse I grew up in to the hose she was in till going into a home - was always alive with music. However, i put a CD player in her room, with her collection of CDs, and whenever I visited, put music on. Sometimes she would lie back, close her eyes and conduct, with a smile on her face. Those days I was happy to leave her there like that.


When I started this thread I wasn’t expecting some of the traumatic and deeply emotional things that people have identified, rather mire expecting to find things from pressure of family life, to financial hardship, to disenchantment with the music industry and everything it represents, to simply stopping for no discernible reason.

I thank you all for your contributions, especially those who have opening these traumatic things up for other people. I hope they help peoole’s understanding generally, hiwever I hope far more that doing responding here is in some way helpful to you, however little, and for those where feelings are still raw, that the healing is rapid.