PROBES #20 Transcript
Curated by Chris Cutler
In the late nineteenth century two facts conspired to change the face of music: the collapse of common practice tonality (which overturned the certainties underpinning the world of art music), and the invention of a revolutionary new form of memory, sound recording (which redefined and greatly empowered the world of popular music). A tidal wave of probes and experiments into new musical resources and new organisational practices ploughed through both disciplines, bringing parts of each onto shared terrain before rolling on to underpin a new aesthetics able to follow sound and its manipulations beyond the narrow confines of 'music'. This series tries analytically to trace and explain these developments, and to show how, and why, both musical and post-musical genres take the forms they do.
In PROBES #20, we look at the exotic imports that made arguably the most significant impact on Western music – ideas and instruments from India, which brought with them not only new sounds and tunings but also radically new ideas about music itself.