“She was talking about ballet as a code of “signs and designs.” Let’s talk about music that way, at least for now: as a code of signs and designs. Music is artifice. It is an organization of sound that expresses feeling. The effect of the minor chord, on its own or in its context, is real; the position of the hand is not. The stab and decay of the amplified note is real; the input and output levels are not. The vibrato is real; the larynx is not.”

Every Song Ever, by Ben Ratliff