Recently I have had occasion to observe yet another fascinating auditory phenomenon. As December 25th draws near, the repetition of certain profound and valuable contributions to the Western musical tradition seems actually to reduce my ability to perceive them unambiguously as “music”. This effect appears to be enhanced in some environments, such as frantically overcrowded supermarkets and department stores, in which even such undisputed masterpieces as “Jingle Bells” seem somehow to lose an essential musical quality.
I have also found, however, that another significant milestone in the development of Western music, namely John Cage’s 4’33”, can compensate easily for the above distressing experience. To gain the best effect, it may, of course, be looped and repeated to your heart’s (and ears’) desire.
Wishing everyone a happy Christmas and a pleasant and productive 2007!