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Musical Space

Musical Space: The Dark Side of the Rainbow

Jordan Kirtley

For the last 20 years or so people have been watching The Wizard of Oz while listening to Pink Floyd’s album “Dark Side of the Moon.” They claim the two works have synchronicities that couldn’t have happened by accident. You know the kind of people I’m talking about. But I’m not here to dissuade them. In fact, I think that the practice known as “The Dark Side of the Rainbow” is a good thing.

A few of the coincidences are striking. For instance, the song “Money” begins precisely when Dorothy steps out of the black and white house into the colored world of Oz.

But the reason I like the Dark Side of the Rainbow phenomenon is that it compels people to listen closely in a search for deeper meanings, however arbitrary. Random juxtapositions of style elements can put the listener into a state of mindfulness. John Cage intended the same thing when he wrote his chance compositions.

So, be sure to start the album at the third Lion’s roar and enjoy the trip. The Dark Side of the Rainbow conspiracy theory is specious, but let’s not spoil a good urban myth.