Order and chaos - whose side are you on?

While discussing music with a friend of mine, the subject of the Grateful Dead came up. I’m not a Deadhead by any means and find their music difficult to listen to, but at least I gave it a try. In fact, my friend made me a couple of tapes featuring the Dead doing covers of popular songs (I DO like their take on “Werewolves of London”). I explained that I believed the reason I didn’t care for their original compositions was that they seem to be way to informal. Do we really need a 28 minute version of “Dark Star”? :slight_smile:

I tend to like well structured, highly polished music. The Beatles, ELO, ABBA, etc.

This lead to the chaos versus order discussion. I like order. To some, excessive order is unbearable. Not me. However, I conceded that, in order to have, uh, order, you have to have had chaos first. So, here’s my question to you:
on a scale of 1 to 100 with 1 being total chaos and 100 being perfect order, where do you put yourself? I put myself at about 80. I can stand some chaos, but only if order is in sight.

I just happen to like both. Sometimes order is called for, other times chaos is more apropriate.

Chaos is, by definition, at least partially ordered. That’s what I’ve always liked.

Are you speaking, perhaps, about randomness versus order? In that case, I’d rate myself about a 60.

(For a good dose of randomness, though, I point you to the opening to ELO’s “Fire on High.”)


As to the definitions here, I would define order as knowing what’s happening at all times whenever possible. Chaos would be the opposite. BTW, I HATE surprises!

As for the opening of “Fire On High” - it’s one of my favorites! Very Beatle-istic.

Is there a difference between total chaos and total order? Or does total chaos start falling into patterns?

I’d be about 50%, some change is good.



It was only a matter of time, people. Only a matter of time.

Chaos. There is nothing better than a song that can break apart to different keys and timing and then at the moment you cant stand it any more… dead-on and with the best groove through the entire song. Gives me chills.

I don’t know enough about either to resond intelligently. I think we would have to take Bach as the prime example. Bach is mathematically excellent, this before anybody realized that mathematics had anything to do with music. But listening to him the chaos shows through. You could say that Bach knew Order so well that he was able to let the Chaos show through without ever breaking stride.

It’s all a delicate tapestry. Chaos is nothing but noise without Order to show it the way. Order is dead notes without the innocent destructiveness of Chaos urging it on.

It could be many things, as in one defines the other. It’s only the interplay between the two that means anything at all.

Love Bach, and the Dead. Just because you can’t find the order, don’t assume it’s not there. (I mean, maybe it isn’t, but it’s not like they’re playing random notes.) Also, I get bored if they don’t move the cheese, so put me down for 23.

Egads! How can one quantify a such a thing? Music with a definate groove?

I for one truly appreciate the technical precision of Prince’s music. He writes everything and DEMANDS that his musicians play it that way. NO TAKE OFFS OR IMPS! This is why his music sounds “the same” from record to record, regardless of the bandmembers.

I also would classify myself as a Deadhead. There’s just something magical about the music there.

Dear Mr. Blue Sky, I wish you could go to a dead show now (but alas…). Not because you would be converted, but perhaps experiencing the music with more than the ears might explain the aura.

I assume that your screen name comes from the ELO tune. I must agree with the tonal quality there! Incredible musicians. I can’t think of a bad tune of theirs. Not to embarass myself (or age me) but I recall, as a youngster NEEDING to see the movie Xanadu because ELO did the score (OK, and b/c of Olivia Newton John). I even have the soundtrack on vinyl (for the younguns, those are like big black CDs).

I can’t quantify myself on your scale. The interpretation of the mean would be lost due to the large variance.

Actually, I started this thread not as a musical question, but a order/chaos in general question. I don’t like surprises and I hate having to work in an environment where there is no discipline and control.

The more I try to find order in my little universe, the more chaos creeps in. The more chaotic the situation is, the more order I have. It’s a Catch 22, for sure.

Plan for disaster, prepared to be bored. It’s my family’s motto.

Musically, I think I’d place myself right at about 50.

I used to be right around 90. I liked my music orderly. I liked to hear bands that played their covers note-for-note. Then I married a blues musician who turned me on to the beauty of improvisation. I’ve never heard him play the same solo twice, and it’s amazing. I’ve heard his bands go off on some tangents that will leave you breathless. But there’s order in there, too, because the band is all going with it together. It is just so freaking cool!