But at the New School once I was
substituting for Henry Cowell,
teaching a class in Oriental music.
I had told him I didn’t know anything
about the subject. He said,
“That’s all right. Just
go where the records are. Take
one out. Play it and then
discuss it with the class.” Well,
I took out the first record.
It was an LP of a Buddhist service.
It began with a short microtonal
chant with sliding tones, and then
soon settled down into a single loud
reiterated percussive beat. This
noise continued relentlessly for about
fifteen minutes with no perceptible
variation. A lady got up and
screamed, and then yelled,
“Take it off. I can’t bear it
any longer.” I took it off.
A man in the class then said angrily,
“Why’d you take it off?
I was just getting interested.”