Finding Music in Everyday Life: How Tik Tok is Changing People’s Musical Mindset
There are multitudes of people in the world who enjoy music every day. They listen to music on anything that allows streaming. They listen to music while studying, working out, commuting to work, or any other task that can get mundane and repetitive. Why then is the ability to “understand” music seen as something withheld for those in music schools or in elite positions within the world of music and its subsequent industries? Well that’s because historically, this has been the case. There has always been a rather large divide between those who simply enjoy music, and those who practice or study it. Recently, I’ve seen this divide grow smaller and smaller. And it’s all thanks to Tik Tok.
The Tik Tok music community is one that spans nearly every genre you can think of and includes people from various cultures around the world. It is a melting pot of creativity and collaboration on a scale that I believe has never been seen before. Various corners of the social media app allow for genre blending, musical mashups, and rearrangements of music that connect people of vastly different musical interests. From people making mashups of popular songs to explanations of the lesser known One Note Pygmy Flute, Tik Tok is expanding people’s musical horizons in a way typical music education simply isn’t.
One specific concept of musical thinking that is prominent on Tik Tok is finding music in everyday sounds. These videos include rattling dryers, heavy machinery, microwave, animals, etc. Users take these sounds and combine them with instruments to create something “musical” out of something “not musical.” I use quotations here because these concepts are very subjective when discussing the wide range of cultures presented on the social media app. Here’s an example of a dryer making a rather interesting pattern of squeaks:
This video was posted by user @teej011 who, based on his other posts on the app, isn’t known for his musical content. This “non-musician” recognized the rhythmical aspect of his dryer and requested for someone to “sample my dryer.” By simply having experience listening to music, he was able to hear the musical in the mundane.
This request did not go unheeded. The user @caseybassy duetted this video and added a bass line that turns these dryer noises into something downright funky. This upright bass if sure to get your head bobbing to the beat.
This trend often results in a true culmination of the communities that online musicians love to exist in. By duetting each other’s videos and adding layers of new instruments, they create an amazing rendition of what I’m calling “dryer funk”. Listen to this laundry-rific groove!
And we can’t forget the newly formed “dryer rap” genre.
Where else in the world can a dryer bring together musicians who’ve never met to create cohesive and groovy musical pieces of music that gain collectively millions of views? Tik Tok is a one-of-a-kind musical sandbox, and the world’s musicians are taking full advantage of it.