‘Listen to Music’ or ‘Listen to the Music’. Which is Correct?

We often use the expression “listen to music” to speak about listening music in a general sense.

We often use the expression “listen to music” to speak about listening music in a general sense.

Listening to music helps me do the housework better.

Use the article “the” to be more specific or identify the music you are referring to.

Would you like to listen to the music that I have downloaded for you?

Being uncountable, the word music cannot be used with the article “a”, but you can use the expression “a piece of music” to mention a particular musical work.

Have you ever listened to a piece of music and felt deeply moved?

Have you ever listened to a music and felt deeply moved?

1. ‘Listen to Music’ vs. ‘Listen to the Music’

The phrase “listen to music” conveys the idea of listening to music in general.

I just want to lay down and listen to music all day.

Note that identifying the particular musical work is not relevant in these sentences.

Our boss doesn't like us to listen to music while working.

You can omit the article even if you are talking about a particular type of music in a general way.

Olivia loves listening to piano music.

I usually listen to rock music when I’m in the car.

There are situations, however, where you may need to be more specific. For example, if there is music playing now, you can say to your friend:

Don’t talk, just listen to the music.

In this case, we are referring to a particular song or piece of music (typically apparent from the context).

Close your eyes and listen to the music.

Rebecca forced me to listen to the music she downloaded.

Keep in mind that we say "listen to the radio" (with "the"), "watch TV" (without "the"), and listen to music (or listen to the music).

Amanda enjoys being in her room where she can listen to the radio, watch TV, and listen to music.

2. Can You Say ‘Listen to a Music’?

The word music, being uncountable, does not have a plural form and cannot be preceded by the article “a”.

I was listening to music on my headphones.

I was listening to a music on my headphones.

But if you really need to introduce a particular instance with the article “a”, the determiner you are looking for is “a piece of”.

I was listening to a new piece of music on my headphones.

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