Originally penned in 2007, inspired by Alex Ross’ ‘The Rest is Noise’, a rhyming account of classical music history in the 1950s:

Boulez once said
That Schoenberg was dead,
And totaled his serial-ism.

Cage took to chance,
His music to enhance,
And thereby caused the schism.

Xenakis then found,
A brand new ground –
Buildings by atonal means.

Shostakovich, meanwhiles,
Put music in piles,
And filed away all his dreams.

Copland spoke to
The McCarthy zoo,
And never quite came back.

Stravinsky withstood
As well as he could,
By dint of 12-tonal tack.

Ligeti split
His music a bit,
Micro-polyphonic in style.

Stockhausen unwound
An interplanet’ry sound,
His hand on electronic dial.

The listener said wha?
The listener said huh?
I think that there’s something I’m missin’.

Babbitt said no,
It’s all in the row,
And who gives a crap if you listen?