Evidently, the Greeks believed that music was math, poetry, and the meaning of life. Music affected our emotions, our behaviors, our decisions. Everything had music. The planets had music, we had music, and if music was in harmony then the world was in harmony.

That being said, contemporary avant-garde music is somewhat of a nightmare. Literally. I walked into IB Music HL 1 and my teacher played three samples. I fully expected to maintain my sleepy demeanor for the rest of the day, but those samples changed my mind.

The first played was composed in 1952 and was an experiment of some sort, the name of which I don’t recall. But, it was a little like the soundtrack to an alien abduction. Eerie, yet so familiar.

The second sent shivers down my back and raised the hairs on my neck, so to speak. Dedicated to the victims of Hiroshima, string instruments were evident. However, how they were played was equal parts horrifying and petrifying. Shrieking, torturous pain, regret, and repenance–those were the only emotions that I could discern.

The third was, by far, the least shocking. It was an old Radiohead record that my Jazz Studies major IB Music teacher played for us. Indeed, when a bass player from the regular orchestra class came in, he commented “Is that Radiohead?” Conventional, and yet powerfully wail-like, chilling to the bone, I didn’t want it to end. It was as if a horribly vivid nightmare had returned to the blue-grey landscape of dreams that had been my pillow for most of the day. I didn’t want it to end, so blissed out I was.

In fact, I’m listening to Radiohead right now.


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