What is it that attracts us to music?
When you think about it (and I do urge you to), music is just organized air vibrations. Nothing more, really. However, one can listen to John Lennon’s “Imagine” and feel his wish for a perfect world, or to Eric Clapton’s “Tears in Heaven” and feel the pain of losing a son. Perhaps the words guide our emotions.
Take a listen to Bach’s “Toccata and Fugue in D minor” or Mussorgsky’s “A Night on Bald Mountain“. You can feel… something. Perhaps the words simply guide our interpretations of our emotions. Perhaps the melodies and rhythms guide our emotions.
Now, listen to John Cage’s “In the Name of the Holocaust” or Lou Reed’s “Metal Machine Music“. Can you feel anything? Perhaps the words just suggest what we should feel or about what we should have feelings. Perhaps the melodies and rhythms aid the words in their job. Perhaps the vibration are just vibrations.
Now, listen to the birds outside your window or the rain on your rooftop. What do you feel now? What if you close the window and listen to the hum of the computer itself?
What if you turn off everything…
and listen to nothing?