'If it's sound, it's music'

That’s the entire text of the shortest letter in the Guardian today.

It was written by Howard Burrell, emeritus professor at the University of Hertfordshire.

Mahler said much the same. So did John Cage.

But it’s good to be reminded.

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  • If Mahler had lived to hear his symphonies punctuated by mobile phones and all the other aural impedimenta of modern life, he might have had a rethink. All sound is not music, any more than all prose is poetry.

    • Paul Mann is generally right, but, if a cell phone went off during a performance of John Cage’s 4′ 53″, it would fit right into the concept of the piece.

  • Oh dear…yet another academic imperative…please be quiet.
    My morning gaseous expulsions are not music to my ears.

  • Unable to find the letter…curious about what article or review the writer was responding to. Context?

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