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Anything Can Be Music

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Mostly a Comedy Trope. Music is known for having certain traditions, especially what qualifies as a musical instrument, so sometimes it's fun to make music or play popular tunes using sounds that aren't really considered musical at all. Burps and farts are used often, as are animal noises.

In other words, sounds which aren't musical make a musical line.

Closely related to Everything Is an Instrument, where someone creates an actual instrument based on supposedly non-musical sounds.



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     Music made from burps/farts  

  • An Animaniacs short had Wakko performing the Blue Danube using burps.
  • Older Than Television: Josef Pujol performed under the stage name "Le Petomane" at the Moulin Rouge in the 1890's. The name means essentially "The Farting Maniac", and that's exactly what he did. From The Other Wiki:
    Some of the highlights of his stage act involved sound effects of cannon fire and thunderstorms, as well as playing 'O Sole Mio' and 'La Marseillaise' on an ocarina through a rubber tube in his anus.
  • The soundtrack for Conker's Bad Fur Day had a track called Pooland, that was a a jazz song played with... ahem... colon trumpets.
  • A CD called "Jingle Smells" was released in the late 90s. It was Christmas songs performed with farts. Entertainment Weekly gave it an "F."
  • Some remixes on Overclocked Remix use farts for music.
  • in Horrible Histories' "Cowboy Song", Mike performs a "solo thanks to beans".
  • Captain Underpants gives us The 1812 Ofarture. Yes, the 1812 Overture with fart sounds.
  • This cutaway from Family Guy.

     From Animal Noises  

     From grunts, screams, ect.  

  • Nelson Muntz did another version in a talent contest on The Simpsons: he had a row of nerds, he wedgied them to create the notes.
  • In The Adventures of Baron Munchausen, the sultan had an organ where the notes played were screams of tortured people on the other side getting poked with spikes.
  • On a similar vein, History of the World Part I had the Hallelujah chorus being sung by cavemen who had their feet and stomachs hit by rocks.
  • The second and last Bozo on WGN-TV - did a bit called "Doctor Flamo" on The Gong Show of the pig organ/mouse organ/Muppaphone variety: Joey D'Auria held his hand over candles of vaious heights, his own screams of pain were the melody of the tune in question.
  • The Muppet Show had an act called Martin Suggs and his Muppaphone. The Muppaphone was an instrument made from little fuzzy round things with faces, and they "ow"ed different notes when he clonked them with a mallet.


     From objects besides instruments  

  • A couple of handbell choir-type musical acts on The Late Show — one had glass soft drink bottles which they stuck their fingers in and popped out for the sound.
  • Leroy Anderson's The Typewriter, in which the percussion section is a typewriter (including the carriage bell which rings at the end of each bar). Also a case of Rhythm Typewriter.
  • Frank Zappa made a very early appearance on the Steve Allen Show, playing a bicycle.
  • The Vegetable Orchestra plays music with instruments made of fresh vegetables and get quite creative with their instruments. At the end of their performances they take their instruments and make soup out of them.
  • In one of the puppet shows from the Baby Einstein video Meet the Orchestra, a duck puppet plays Blue Danube with bottles.

     Music made from anything else  

  • The Trope Namer That Mitchell and Webb Look sketch featuring the show Anything Can Be Music; which makes a song out of "a guinea-pig realizing it's about to be put down", "a boy begging not to be caned", "a horse being kicked in the testicles", "a middle class family separated in a cave system", and a prisoner saying the actual words "Anything Can Be Music"
  • Penn & Teller's Smoke & Mirrors (never released) had a level which aurally imitated the aforementioned The Typewriter except as an arcade shooter instead of a typewriter.
  • Dungeons & Dragons module X2 Castle Amber. The Amber family turned 88 people with singing ability into stone statues. When each key on a keyboard is pressed, the corresponding statue will sing one note, allowing the user to play music.
  • In Will Vinton's Claymation Christmas, The Carol of the Bells is performed by a choir of (wait for it) anthropomorphic bells hitting themselves with hammers.
  • Played straight in the Real Life avant garde musical genre of Musique concrète (concrete music) that appeared in the 1940's. Its goal was to make music out of any found or recorded sound, in addition to instruments and human voices.
  • The Reading Rainbow song "Sounds Like Music To Me" was about the concept of making music out of anything.
  • In "Mickey's Twice Upon A Christmas" during "Donald's Gift" every person and thing in the mall is suddenly making noise to the tune of "We Wish You A Merry Christmas", the very song Donald was trying to escape.
  • John Cage believed this wholeheartedly, and built a career around it. His most famous work is 4'33, which given the conditions of contemporary musical performance, usually consists of the noise made by a concert hall full of people trying to be silent while a pianist sits at a piano for 4 minutes and 33 seconds. Did your cellphone go off because you forgot to silence it before stepping into the concert hall? That's okay, it's technically part of the performance itself.
  • The title characters from The Triplets of Belleville perform with a bicycle wheel, a vacuum cleaner, and a metal refrigerator rack.
  • Pretty much anything by Stomp.
  • The genre of Harsh Noise takes this to the logical conclusion.
  • The Stupid Statement Dance Mix takes a, well, stupid statement and sets to dance music.
  • Many examples can be found under the label of "YTPMV", from remixes of famous pieces to original music. Such as Offenbach's "Infernal Gallop" made with Mario and Sonic sounds.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Sound Effects Song


Baby Einstein: Danube Duck

A bonus puppet show on the 2006 DVD of Meet the Orchestra - First Instruments features a duck playing the Blue Danube with bottles.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / AnythingCanBeMusic

Media sources:

Main / AnythingCanBeMusic