A Challenge: Pure Deception in Music (Attempt #2)

I presented attempt #1 under the assumption that readers were, after reading my post, totally anticipating pure deception in music.  Under those circumstances, I think that’s the closest one could come to pure deception.  I hope you were disappointed!

Though it’s possible to deceive listeners using only sounds, ingenious deception in music will consider all circumstances surrounding music making.

This becomes clear when you consider music as a verb, not as a noun (as in Christopher Small’s book Musicking).  The meaning of music and musicking then, is in complex connections and relationships between performers, listeners, sounds and circumstances (among other things).

For example, suppose you’re attending a performance of choral music in a traditional concert hall.  The stage is empty.  At the beginning of the concert, only the conductor walks on stage.  She raises her hands and begins the first piece.  Unbeknownst to you, the choir is actually assembled behind the audience, which is where they sing for the rest of the concert.

This is deception in music too, but has nothing to do with the organization of pitch and rhythm.  It takes advantage of the expectations that performers sing on the stage, and sounds come from the front of the concert hall.  It’s all in the context of musical performance.

When you consider all the circumstances surrounding music making, it’s actually quite easy for performers to deceive their audience.  It becomes much more difficult to deceive if your focus is strictly concerning the organization of sound.

Nevertheless, I’ve taken up the challenge!  In the following excerpt, I’ve done my best to position the deception in the sounds, and only the sounds.  I hope listeners feel deceived no matter the context in which they’re listening.  Please have a listen.  What do you think?

Download the Mp3 here: Deception-in-Music-2


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