Ah, yes, I see where you’re going there. What I’m looking for rather is a proper set of metaphors to be able to imagine various simplifyings and complexifyings.
Music has great complexity – closest to alive that I’ve noticed in a system, even more flexible than spoken language – so not everything will be simplified in one way.
For example, hearing music from a distance gives a sense of the envelope of the music — its breathing pattern I guess.
So, that’s an abstraction of the music that’s simplified.
Or, one can be focusing on a rhythm, so the gaps between notes are more important and not the pitches or timbres. That’s another abstraction of the music that’s simplified.