Many people think music is a thing of melodies, choruses and refrains, tunes played as a backdrop to lyrics which are spoken or sung. And sure, that’s one way to look at music. It’s not a bad definition at all. But you can still find musicians today who simply play music without any vocal accompaniment, just like how you can still find A capella acts where solo artists or groups sing without any instrumental backing. But you can find music in other places too, music which fits none of these definitions. You just have to be willing to listen for it.
Some of it is pretty easy to catch too. Just step outside and listen to the wind blow, try and hear the songs of the birds being carried on that air as it moves around you. This is perfectly natural stuff, the kind of stuff you miss after spending a lot of time indoors, the kind of stuff you could forget about if you don’t hear it regularly. Some people would just call it background noise, but there was a time when people would need to pay attention to every little sound around them, as a matter of survival. Who could say if that twig snapping nearby was under the foot of a friend or foe?
There are unnatural sources of music too. That doesn’t mean they’re bad, it just means they don’t occur naturally. I’ve noticed a kind of music when around tools, whether I’m using them or someone else is. But to be fair it’s usually when someone else is using them, and mostly that’s because my mind isn’t focused on completing some project and I have the luxury of just listening. If you were to go search for “tool symphony” you could hear what I’m talking about. Hammers, saws, sanders and even handheld oscillating tools could all work together to produce an oddly musical sound you must listen to hear.
Really, any music made with instruments like guitars, drums and pianos is unnatural, since those are all manmade devices just like the tools I mentioned above. That’s technically unnatural music too. But that doesn’t make it bad. People like to say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but I think that comes short of being really accurate. It’s in the eyes, the ears, the nose; on the fingertips and taste buds of an individual. As for the tools, you can click here for more if you like.
There are beautiful sights, sounds and smells. Some things feel exquisite, or taste delicious, and all of this really depends on the person doing the seeing, the smelling, the hearing, the tasting, the touching. There’s really no accounting for peoples’ tastes. But still, folks like to argue over whether things are appealing or disgusting, when really what is good for the goose may not necessarily be good for the gander. I’m not really sure what I’m getting at here. Just making an observation about people, I suppose.