This article is one of many that claim that consonance and dissonance are cultural traits. Exposure to western music has trained most of us to veer towards perfect fifths and similar rot. Perfect fifths have their place, of course, but just not in the helpings that I’m usually presented. This concept of subjective evaluation of music bothers some people, especially those of the fundamentalist strain. I’m using the word fundamentalist in a broader sense than usual, indicating any who have steadfast points of views not easily swayed by counter-evidence.
Our hearing apparati has jointly evolved in a uniform way, so on a physical level, we perceive sound equally. We differ in the way our brain interprets and sorts it. Brains love to categorize.
I grew up fully exposed to western music. Moreover, the western music I was mostly exposed to as a youth was a very narrow slice of all that was available in the occidental realm. The western music of West Texas was, as you might guess, western music! The plodding one two of country was my introduction to a universe that envelops most of my waking and dreaming thoughts. My uncle was the only outsider in this respect, as I got a good dose of Baroque and Renaissance classical when I was in his presence when no-one was complaining about the racket.
My penchance for outsider tonalities surely has its roots in the rejection of my upbringing and the atmosphere surrounding it, though I’ve never disgarded western tonality wholly and probably never will. Working within its vastness will satisfy me for epochs to come, for I can contintue to harvest the partially abandoned corners of its sonority. On that note, I shall add some B flatness over a percolating F#m6 arpeggio.
I mention to other humans from time to time that I dislike capitalism. I hold it in high disdain, actually, for its abhorrent nature. Asshole capitalists. Let them rot in a molten, golden soup. Some humans often shoot back at me something along the lines of well, you are selling your wares for money, too, so you are a capitalist. Either they are sealed in their own fundamentalist bubble so they cannot see the context of my existence or they outright refuse to believe that anything other than their own point of view exists.
Of course I sell my wares for money. I have to survive in the society that contains us. Ideals exist that I may pine for, but I do not simply abandon everything to pursue them. As much as capitalist scum want a free for all, our occidental world is one of compromise, not of extremes. I sell my wares for money but I don’t jump at the chance to monetize every grain that grows from the bosom of my brain or hara. We are all somewhere on an axis, not at an chuck everything and live an ideal or submit to the capitalist free for all extreme.
Axis thinking. Brian Eno wrote about it in his novel. I’ve talked about it for decades. I’m sure we are not the only ones. Consider it.