[ExI] Objective standards?

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Tue Sep 29 21:26:43 UTC 2015

On Tue, Sep 29, 2015 at 1:59 PM, Dan TheBookMan <danust2012 at gmail.com>

> On Tue, Sep 29, 2015 at 11:35 AM, William Flynn Wallace <
> foozler83 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> ​I find it strange, even disgusting and totally missing the point, to
>> have classical music as sonic wallpaper.
> I don't know. Some of the lighter stuff -- "A Little Night Music" or any
> waltz by Strauss -- seems to be made for that. And what's contemplative for
> one person might not be for another, no?
>> It's sort of like speaking in incomplete sentences or fragments.
> What's wrong with that? Isn't that how most speaking is done? "Who is
> that?" "You mean--" "The one next to --" "I see -- she has the -- the new
> what's it called?" "Yeah, yeah. She's got one of those and she's--" "Shush!
> She'll hear us." Did that make any sense to you?

I wanted to make one further point. I don't think the "speaking in
incomplete sentences or fragments" analogy works in using something as
sonic wallpaper. Fragments and incomplete sentences usually are in the
middle of conversations and often help to keep attention and propel the
exchange forward. Sonic wallpaper means something sinks into the
background. Think of my extemporized fragments above. They should, if they
work, increase attention to what's going on -- the exact opposite of sonic

The best example of sonic wallpaper is some kind of ambient music one can
hold a conversation or read a book to. The idea is to be inoffensive and
not distract the listener. I doubt too many people can use Bartok or
Penderecki or marching band music as sonic wallpaper. There's a similar
thing with lounge music. It's not so much not supposed to be contemplated
but to not have a dance-able rhythm -- so people will drink and eat more
rather than pair off and dance (and not spend money on booze and chow). Or
so I've heard.


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