Thursday, 01 May 2008
Though it’s generally true that music has lagged behind the other major forms of art in reaching its most abstract conclusions, the last 30 years of underground noise have gone a long way toward proving John Cage’s dictum that music is whatever we say it is. As a lover of melody and lyric, I was admittedly skeptical about such loose definitions and the sorts of deconstructions they encourage, but after several months of combing through the variants of the modern noise movement, I decided Cage was right. In as much as melody is only a succession of differing notes or pitches, and rhythm is a pattern of repeatable sound events, it becomes arbitrary to argue that music must fall within the narrow strictures of what we find pleasing to our ears. That’s preference, something that varies from culture to culture ...