Music is similar to language.
Yes, that's true. . .
Dialects of English are like styles of pop music. They seem very different to native speakers, especially those that speak no other language. To monolingual native English speakers, all other languages sound the same (i.e., "foreign").
However, multilingual people know that sonic differences in "dialect" are vastly smaller than are sonic differences between entirely different "languages." To these educated people, it is the dialects of one language that more nearly sound "all the same."
Differences between Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, Classic-Romantic, and Modernist musics are drastically more different than differences between, say, Top 40, Country, Hard Rock, Rap, Disco, Reggae, etc. However, to exclusive listeners of this commercial "drum-track music," all the other principal categories of Western Music are lumped together as being merely "Classical Music," and, thus, to them, "foreign," and boring. To musically literate people, these "drum-track music" addicts are simply what they are: illiterate.

Jody Nagel
December 15, 2000
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