A memo for you folks who like to make up "facts"

The Internet exists! We can check.

For instance, consider this masterpiece, which informs us that:

"The fundamental problem with rock music... can be summed up quite simply: its rhythm is unnatural and morally tainted...

"The normal pattern for almost all music in the world, from all periods of history, whether genuine folk music or the art music of high cultures, accentuates the odd beats, that is, the downbeat (the first) and, to a lesser extent, the third...

"Rock music, on the other hand, generally uses a constantly syncopated or off-rhythm, accentuating the even beats [backbeats] instead of the odd...

"It is hardly surprising that 'rock n' roll” and 'jazz' were both euphemisms for sexual intercourse, or, more accurately in their historical context, fornication: the rhythm is suggestive of the pelvic thrust..."

So, first of all, the rhythm of rock is both 1) unnatural and 2) the rhythm of sex. Therefore... the author believes the rhythm of sex is unnatural?!

And how about the contention that "almost all" music emphasizes the one, and that to emphasize the 2 and 4 leads straight to depravity? Hmm... "The back beat was a feature of gospel (in the form of hand-clapping)..."

Gospel, huh? That most depraved of musics! And here is an actual musicologist, rather than a cranky old white guy fed up with "Negro music": "The emphatic backbeat, conventionally held by rock historians to be an African-American trait, is just as common in music of British and Central European origin."

Whoa! Common in British and Central European folk music! This kind of blows his whole made-up history right out of the water, doesn't it.

While I was composing this post, I was saying to myself a reggae song. Reggae certainly has a large emphasis on the backbeat. The lyrics?

And it's common people like you and me
We'll be builders for eternity
Each is given a bag of tools
Shapeless mass and a book of rules

Oh, the depravity!


  1. You may have demolished this guy's argument, but based on the photo of him on his blog, he still wins.

  2. Nice post.

    First time I see someone arguing that a certain rhythm is "unnatural" and "morally tainted".

    On his page it says (which I guess was written by himself) about him "He is also a published and performed composer, especially of sacred music.”

    I guess he is just jealous that he isn't as famous as AC/DC or Elvis Presley...


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