Chapter 7A-B-A-B and Sometimes C-Music and Sound

Spoken language was originally a swirling garment of vapor and breath worn by the encompassing earth.

—Ogotemmêli, an elder of the Dogon tribe of Mali1

Evidence is mounting that the universe expands and contracts like an accordion.

—Astrophysicist Harlow Shapley

No human culture has ever lived without music. Whether chanting mantras along with the gorgeously primal sounds of Tibetan monks, bopping to The Beatles, or shimmying to a pop song, the universe is forever breathing a musical breath.

In light of Harlow Shapley’s quotation above, it seems the universe must be breathing a happy, goofy, musical breath—accordions are fun and silly, never sad. Whenever possible, I choose to linger in the sweet, ...

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