If A Concert Is Cancelled In The Forest, Does It Make A Sound? No.

Today’s lesson from Zen and the Art of Figured Bass is one of the world’s greatest philosophical conundrums: if a concert is cancelled in the forest, does it make a sound?

No. The answer is no. There is no sound because there is no concert. Just a lot of silence radiating outwards from a broken string, and by string I mean music industry.

But, I hear the budding philosophers say, what about online concerts? Yes, technically they are still producing sound. But much like Schrodinger’s cat, can we know if the sound is alive or dead? What we do know is that when sound is live it is at least 80% alive, and when it is in a little box which I need to consciously observe, everything becomes uncertain. I don’t even have a cat.

But who wants to be a sourpuss about all this? No one. If you collect all your sourpuss thoughts and put them on a website, you will look like a sourpuss. What about putting all your other lovely happy thoughts on a website? No one wants that right now. Have you seen the world outside?

So let us go to our happy place, music. A musical score is a beautiful thing. When I look at some sheet music I feel at one with all these cancellations, in the sense that I can’t hear any music from sheet music either, I can only see a lot of vague signs outlining the promise of music at some unspecified future date.

That’s it for today. Next week, we will share an extract from Zen and the Art of Gerrymandering. Stay tuned.