Sequence

Everything in nature follows a sequence. From caterpillar to butterfly, from seed to tree, from stars to black holes. Enter humans and the sequence is broken. In communication, in behavior, in action.

When humans break a natural sequence, order turns to chaos.

Some context before we proceed.

It all started with my first meeting with a new friend bum bum bhole on Twitter:

A series of sequential tweets from me had the following response:

My dear friend Gaizabonts shared his love of playlists:

When bum bum bhole responded

I said

My meaning explicit:

This was then interpreted as my being against playlists, to which Gaizabonts rose In Defence of Playlists.

A series of tweets from me was my sequence of thought, expressed through a medium restricted to 140 characters at a time. It led to whether that was “cheating tweeting”.

The maximum length of a tweet is 140 char, of a Facebook post 63,206. The maximum length of time you can talk to your friend is unlimited.

How well can online social networks like Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn handle the sequence of our thoughts, emotions, careers, and lives? Are we now living in a world where a person’s sequence of thoughts, expressed through whatever medium of communication is being employed at that moment, considered “cheating” for not adhering to that specific medium’s restrictions?

If you text me using 115 characters, in two SMS messages, are you “cheating”? No, that is ridiculous.

The concept of “playlist” came into being with the era of digital music from the days of WinAmp. There were no playlists when I grew up. There were no playlists when Kumar Gandharva or Kishoribai sang. There were no playlists when Mozart or Beethoven had their music performed.

Yet, there was a sequence to their music. Music, by definition, has sequence. Without sequence, it is not music.

Most of Western Classical or Hindustani Music CDs we get today have “assorted mixes” without sequence. It is not music.

Each of my music cassettes, whether Western or Indian, had painstaking hours of sequencing behind them. Every friend of mine whom I’ve gifted such carefully crafted cassettes remembers me not just for the songs, but for the sequence in which I arranged it. Some sensitive audiophiles also appreciated the difference between how many seconds of gap I’d kept between each song and why.

Can you imagine how Mozart’s 41st symphony finale would sound without the first three movements? It would be like arriving to watch an action movie’s final climax scene without knowing who the characters are and what they’re doing.

Every post on this blog is a continuation of a sequence. Every movement in a symphony or a concerto is in a sequence. Everything our friend is saying is in a sequence. We break that sequence when we interrupt and don’t listen.

Relationships have a sequence. In romance as well as in friendship, all relationships have a sequence, and when we try to fight the sequence, there is friction.

This entry was posted in music, Personal and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.