Where Are Are The Points At Which One Music Becomes Another?

It’s a topic I’ve thought about
whenever I hear a new sound
that disregards the old
and rushes headlong
into uncharted waters.

Water is the appropriate metaphor
for music’s fluidity, fungibility,
and fantastic flow quality
as it moves from being this,
to becoming that.

Do you remember
those old hip hop beats,
marking two and four
with gold chain emphasis,
sawed off and square at the corners?
How did they become
the sinuous, slithering, stuttering
bass music syntax of today?
When did their sharp edges become round, more pixellated?

Pixellate that last thought:
Where are the points
when one rhythm becomes another?
Where a two becomes a three or a four,
when an eighth note becomes a dotted,
or a chattering background
becomes the fore?

As music moves from being this
to becoming that,
I rush headlong into the new sound
to hear where we’re going next.

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