There's only two types of music

In my darkest moments I start to think that there's only two types of music. Heck, quite possibly there's really only one type of music that's real. All the rest is a warped and wavy counterform, the dust left behind as the music takes flight.

There's only two types of music. There's rock'n'roll and then there is anti-rock'n'roll. By rock'n'roll I mean all music that's consciously youth-community-oriented popular music. The dominant form of music today. The only remaining vital force since the avantgardists defected to Sound Art.

All other music is reaction.

All other music is played out in conscious opposition to rock'n'roll. And it's all the same. There's no difference between Nashville country and Anton Bruckner (as listened to today). Or retro-oriented Eurovision ballads. All that music is made by its artists and listened to by its listeners expressly as anti-rock'n'roll. Its ontology and its reason for existence lies in it not being rock'n'roll.

Old rock'n'roll that has been rock'n'roll is anti-rock'n'roll as well. Anyone who just listens to old music does so because they don't listen to new music.

I realise this is ridiculous. But nevertheless I watch the Swedish version of Dancing With The Stars and think: this is anti-rock'n'roll. I listen to my teacher talk about 19th-century symphonic forms and think: she's anti-rock'n'roll. And that's all there is to it. And it angers me. And I want to fight it.

I've always enjoyed attempting to categorise music in various experimental ways. What do you think? Do you think it's worthwhile to divide music into very strict, not necessarily true categories in order to see if you can spot something new about them? I'm going to try to do more of these as my blog rolls along.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like your idea. As for myself I've come to view music as Pop, Classic(al), Folk/World, and Jazz. In terms of arrangement and cultural placement.

Rock and anti R&R would have to be considered a 21st century machination. Before that? Perhaps it was Classical(Canonized/Organized? vs Folk? And back then Folk was the peoples pop.

And so on and so forth. Somethin' like that.