Thursday, April 17, 2008
Most Unwanted Music
A couple of Russian-born conceptual artists had determined, via a poll of listeners, what the most unappealing kinds of music were -- then created a piece embodying all of them. For example, people hate songs about holidays, choirs, and kids singing. So there was a passage where a children's chorus singing about Labor Day.
Here's a quote of an account of how the sonic parameters were selected:
The most unwanted music is over 25 minutes long, veers wildly between loud and quiet sections, between fast and slow tempos, and features timbres of extremely high and low pitch, with each dichotomy presented in abrupt transition. The most unwanted orchestra was determined to be large, and features the accordion and bagpipe (which tie at 13% as the most unwanted instrument), banjo, flute, tuba, harp, organ, synthesizer (the only instrument that appears in both the most wanted and most unwanted ensembles). An operatic soprano raps and sings atonal music, advertising jingles, political slogans, and "elevator" music, and a children's choir sings jingles and holiday songs. The most unwanted subjects for lyrics are cowboys and holidays, and the most unwanted listening circumstances are involuntary exposure to commercials and elevator music. Therefore, it can be shown that if there is no covariance--someone who dislikes bagpipes is as
likely to hate elevator music as someone who despises the organ, for example--fewer than 200 individuals of the world's total population would enjoy this piece.
You can stream it here:
Most Unwanted Music.MP3
I must admit after listening to it, I was not as disturbed as I thought I should be. Which immediately made me curious about what would be the most "wanted" music. Alas I was not disappointed as this link was provided:
Most Wanted Music.MP3
So give them some of your valuable time and let me know your thoughts.