Music: A Story

8 September, 2019
A story about music. And words.

Once upon a time ...

Once upon a time there was music, and music had all the meaning.

There were no words.

Music controlled the meaning, and no new meanings could be made unless they were inside the music.

But one day the first words appeared.

And they appeared inside the music.

The music could not stop the words coming into life inside of itself.

And so the words made new meanings, inside the music.

Sometimes the words made meanings that did not even make proper sense inside the music.

As they made more meanings, and even more meanings, the words grew more powerful.

The words were small and agile, and they could group themselves together in complicated ways to make complicated meanings, in a way that the music could never do.

Eventually the words grew powerful enough to free themselves from the music.

The words left the music, and they took all the meaning with them.

The music was left with only an empty shell of meaningfulness – a feeling that there should be a meaning.

Because the words had taken all the meaning with them as they left, the music could no longer build proper meaning by itself.

Sometimes the words returned, to sit inside the same music that used to control them, to temporarily create meanings inside the music which the music could no longer make for itself.

But mostly the words were too busy to do that, because they had other more important things to do.

And presently ...

This is a story that has happened to our ancestors, probably just a few thousand generations ago.

For some of us the story has moved further forward, getting closer to its final ending.

The final ending is that words rule completely, and music no longer matters.

For the rest of us, the music still feels important, especially when we are together with other people all listening to the same music.

The music wants us to feel that music is important.

But there is no longer any reason why it's important.

When the final ending happens, perhaps a few more thousand generations in the future, the music will be just a bunch of sounds, with no meaning at all.

And apart from a few curious archaeologists, there won't be anyone composing music, there won't be anyone performing music, and there won't be anyone listening to music.