Multimodal music

I’m continually musing on the reality of the ongoing devaluation of music. Lately I’ve been wondering if this could fundamentally change the core of what music is. Let me explain: for thousands of years, perhaps tens of thousands, music has existed in many forms, but it’s basically been an aural experience e.g. it’s experienced by using your ears. It has of course been combined with visual aspects to produce various forms of musical theater that are both heard and seen. For all I know, at some point someone combined music with various scents or tastes, but those would be niche forms. Music has primarily been about what you hear.

So, maybe this form of music — strictly about the ears — is close to passé. Maybe people are tired of only engaging music on one level. Maybe the next big thing will be multimodal music — music combined with other senses. Obviously, that’s been done — that’s basically what a music video is — but I’m saying this will become the standard, not the exception.

Perhaps we could combine music with certain drugs so that every time the song hits the prechorus, you are injected with adrenaline or something. That sounds like a lot of fun.

3 Responses to “Multimodal music”


  1. John Saleeby

    I think there will be different kinds of Music for scratching yourself – Percussion for scratching your head, piano for scratching your balls, harmonica for scratching your ass, etc. Somebody get to work on that.

  2. Wil

    Actually, a possible iPhone app would be some kind of personal soundtrack. Basically the application would constantly be listening to what’s going on in your life and providing appropriate music. So if you could tell that you’re out in nature, it would have some nice symphonic strings. And if it hurt your girlfriend breaking up with you, it would provide sad music. And if you heard your doctor telling you that you have two months to live, it would do that wacky trombone, “Waahn-wahhhh” lick.

  3. John Saleeby

    Well, yeah, but . . . I want scratching music!