To talk of music solely in terms of melody, harmony and rhythm or with reference to narrow concepts of beauty is to be weighed down with the baggage of value judgements.

It follows that any sound we do not like is often called ‘noise’. This is exemplified by an incident involving the late Keith Moon. So the story goes (and there are numerous versions), a hotel manager, responding to complaints from some of the other guests, asked Moon to turn down the ‘noise’ of a Who demo recording he was playing at high volume on a portable cassette machine.

Moon asked the luckless manager to wait outside his room and went inside. What followed was a cacophony of objects being smashed and what sounded like a stick of dynamite exploding in the bathroom.

Returning to the shocked manager, Moon explained “what you just heard was noise”, he turned his cassette machine back on, “and this is The Who!”

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