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May 20, 2024
This week’s theme
Words from music

This week’s words

Illustration: Anu Garg + AI

Previous week’s theme
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with Anu Garg

80 to 116 beats per minute, that’s good music. Anything outside of that range? Not good. This is according to Musa Dadayev, Minister of Culture in Chechnya. (CNN)

I support his beliefs.

Dadayev can listen to music within that 37 bpm range in his car and in his home. He can even decide that only that kind of music will be played at the parties he throws.

The problem begins when he decrees that other people must also listen only to music in that range.

If some music is too slow or too fast for your liking, just don’t listen to it. That would be the obvious answer, but what good is being a dictator if you can’t impose your musical tastes on others?

The same goes for stuff beyond music. For example, if your favorite book validates only attraction to people of the opposite sex, feel free to follow it.

But your desire for imposing your retro norm on others is just as ludicrous as Dadayev imposing his metronome on you.

Do whatever brings you joy. Heavy metal sounds discordant to my ears, but if it’s your thing, who am I to tell you otherwise? I can enjoy jazz any time but if it doesn’t do anything for you, that’s perfectly cool. (But maybe try again -- it’s the best.)

Maybe we all can listen to Thoreau who once said, “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.” Don’t hurt anyone; other than that do whatever your inner drummer tells you.

Music is such a personal thing; it beats me why anyone would force it upon or deny it to anyone.

This week we’re all music. We’ll feature terms from the world of music that are also used metaphorically.



1. Perfect in every way, especially in being sensitive to a particular situation.
2. Right tone, pitch, mood, etc.

From pitch, from Old English pic + perficere (to finish), from per- (across) + facere (to do). Earliest documented use: 1902.

Perfect pitch, also known as absolute pitch, is the ability to identify or sing a given pitch without the aid of an external reference. And what are perfect pitches, the right range of frequencies? You’ll have to ask Dadayev.

“Hanks captures the child’s-eye view of the world with pitch-perfect accuracy.”
Emma Brockes; Tom Hanks Turns Author With “Uncommon Type”; The Guardian (London, UK); Oct 14, 2017.

The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error. -John Stuart Mill, philosopher and economist (20 May 1806-1873)

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