I frequently encounter arguments online over commonly accepted ideas about music — are they hard-wired into our DNA or shaped by our culture?  It’s an interesting question, but when it’s used to argue for or against a certain kind of music, as in, “Music is a cultural construct, therefore, objectively speaking, anything is as good as anything else,” or, its near opposite, “Tonality is a result of natural forces, therefore any music that doesn’t use it is inferior,” I tune out.

Natural forces, cultural constructs — whatever the source, the bottom line is the same for me.  I have ideas I want to convey, and I’m going to use the most effective means I can find to convey them.  That’s why I use commonly accepted words (cultural constructs) when I write this blog. It’s fine to argue that “xvvbrr sjjiu tg hqwww” is just as meaningful, and even more interesting, (it’s certainly more original), than any of the other sentences on this page.  I won’t disagree.  But it’s not really fair to berate a culture that finds original sequences of letters less interesting or meaningful than familiar ones.

Conversely, I’m happy to travel any nontraditional avenues that get me to my goal.  If  “xvvbrr sjjiu tg hqwww” says exactly what I want to say, I’ll use it, cultural constructs be damned.

Come to think of it, I’ve now managed to use that sentence twice in this blog post, and I believe it helped make my intention perfectly clear.  Maybe I’ll try it as a title, too.

One Response to “xvvbrr sjjiu tg hqwww”
  1. Kyle Gann says:

    As I once wrote somewhere, “Even if certain responses to music are culturally conditioned, where does music take place, if not in a culture?”

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