the mind's ear

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the mind's ear

The imaginative capability to create or recall sound within one's mind; the part of the mind that experiences imagined or recalled sound. (An allusion to the "mind's eye," which is likewise responsible for mental imagery.) I can still hear in my mind's ear the sweet laughter of my daughter when she was a child.
See also: ear
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
The rich purring followed the rhyme of the poems, and ever since then, when I hear Robert read, I listen, with the mind's ear, to a feline accompaniment, ranging from the softest of purrs to the lion's roar.
* The Mind's Ear: Exercises for Improving the Musical Imagination for Performers, Composers, and Listeners, by Bruce Adolphe.
White, Cynthia Ozick--have mastered the technique of making the reader an auditor--mulling over, underlining, and annotating a text on the printed page that is simultaneously heard in the mind's ear. The best personal essayists--and Lopate is among them--admit the reader into an egalitarian living room--not an elitist salon--where they enjoy a conversation involving the eye, the ear, and the mind.
An inability to tune up one's voice by first imagining music in the mind's ear can also instigate karaoke catastrophes.
The heavenly tinnitus and the sweet echoes of every anthemic song were present in the mind's ear of the girl as the dazzling headlights of the approaching taxi hurt her eyeballs.
It's one of those expressions that fix themselves in the mind's ear."
Certainly Walton's pithy oratorio Belshazzar's Feast has lived with me, both in the mind's ear and through many performances, ever since I first fell in love with it nearly fifty years ago, when it was still practically contemporary music.
of the mind's ear at waking, words smaller than lightning
The chapter on bells, for example, examines the "cultural range of sound along varying neural pathways in the mind's ear" (my emphasis, 99), while the chapter on "Shakespeare's Wills" examines the social and obligatory skepticism associated with the interpretation of texts.
Citing a great quoter like Randall Jarrell, Bromwich emphasizes the line as the unit of modern poetry and, in his quoting of lines that 'have captivated the mind's ear', he is the equal of critics like Jarrell or David Kalstone.
My grandmother's speech was much less Black Country, but once again the mind's ear has been imprinted with only one utterance.
'I've got to get off this table,' said the clear voice of the visitor in the mind's ear of the little girl.
Moreover, singing is the only true test to see if the instrumentalist actually can hear the music being played with the mind's ear, without an instrument.
Beyond how the poem is a poem, however, there are moments of real beauty and great poetry: lines such as "Betweenpie, I expected the loveliest brainchild ever" (75) and "Character captured/at the hinge of two destinies // While still unhandseled/When water was precise" (53) reward the mind's ear. The Master Thiefworks at the kind of serious play missing from so many recent books of poetry.
In the mind's ear, one has an ideal of the perfect performance of a piece.