Section 1: Wherein are Treated Linguistic Considerations in the Proposed Theory of Nonmusic
For any theoretical description of contemporaneous practice, clarity of meaning and simplicity of construction are serious considerations. As such, any new terminology used to clarify concepts should also reflect these values. In the choice of the term nonmusic to describe all sounds beyond the tonal, harmonic, rhythmic, melodic, &ct. when used with deliberate methodology within a musical or sound composition.
As we are dealing with music and sound in general here, I chose to attach one of several possible prefixes to the word “music.” Among the choices of prefix were “anti-”, “a-”, and “non-”, with the latter coming out slightly ahead of either choice. “Anti-” seemed overly contrarian, reactionary, even. The decision appropriately came down to sound, with “a-” and “non-” both meaning approximately “not” or “without,” or generally indicating negation, and “amusic” simply hasn’t a ring to it.
Similarly, the “non-” prefix is added to the elemental terms rhythm, melody, and harmony, yielding “nonrhythm",” “nonmelody,” and “nonharmony,” terms whose meanings seem self-evident. However, a bit of clarification is called for if we are to maintain a systematic order to these proceedings. Each negative term must have within its definition some relation to its parent term for the sake of coherence.
If we define melody as a deliberately designed succession of tones, then a definition of nonmelody must reflect and negate this contention. We may thus define nonmelody as either a succession of tones with no deliberate design or a deliberately designed absence of successive tones.
Similarly, if we are to define rhythm as a regular, recurring pattern in timing, then nonrhythm may be either a nonregular recurring pattern or a series of regular, nonrecurring patterns, or the total absence of a pattern in timing. Harmony being the simultaneous sounding of musical tones, whether consonant or dissonant, would point to nonharmony as disparately sounding tones, or the juxtaposition of sounds other than musical tones.
The proposed structure of the first section was as follows:
Linguistic: Prefix considerations - naming conventions (a-, anti-, non-)
Definitions: music, rhythm, melody, harmony; nonmusic, nonmelody, nonharmony
Purpose - why nonmusic: outside of normal or acceptable parameters, derangement
Upon drafting the text above, it seems clear that the purpose and structural functions of Nonmusic would be better treated elsewhere, e.g. the whys and wherefores in a preface and the structural functions in its own section.