Spotlights on aspects of the Omniverse
"If music be the food of love, why do some get to play with eighty-piece orchestras while I can barely manage a fiddle solo?"
— Governor Klerksdorp of Presidium 4
Many of the universal cultures appreciated and prized music among all of the art forms. It was also one of the few forms of cultural expression that was found to be developed independently by each society and species, without any intervention or contact from another group. In this way, music weaved its melodies harmoniously through the fabric of space, and into the lives of almost every being in the known universe.
The mythweavers known as Voices Lifted in Praise of the Sublime used song to tell their tales to future generations on Gos. Able to capture their songs in crystal flutes known as vis'terifi, the mythweavers' arias were joined together in colossal resonating chambers to create cantatas that filled the night sky with voices from the distant past. The Humans of Earth eventually discovered the means to record voice, sound, and music onto vinyl disks and tapes, which saved a lot of mucking about trying to find a correctly-shaped vase that didn't already had a bunch of flowers in it.
Music was not only the province of the sapient creatures of the cosmos. A collision between two planetary bodies in the Vestal system left behind a large debris field which remained in loose orbit around Toba Crov, a gas giant and the system's sole remaining planet. By chance, for a month every thirty-two years, the debris aligned in such a manner as to force the solar winds through a series of caverns and rocky chambers, which produced a noise described as a keening howl by those who witnessed it. This sound, referred to as the Trumpet of Lost Planets, was heard as far as three systems deep into the rest of the Circle of Orion. Similarly, the cataclysm that cracked the planet Rintaria produced a network of hollow tunnels in the planet's core that amplified the chants of the religious inhabitants. The Graven Monks, believing their voices to have been raised by the sheer power of God, conducted numerous sacrifices and other ghastly rituals to the sound of these ululating chants.
Space was typically believed to be silent, although legends claimed that, in the ancient cosmos, the stars used to sing to one another—but the advent of cosmonauts and empires criss-crossing the star-ways has quieted their melodies to barely a whisper on the solar winds. Others spoke of a race of beings composed purely from sound waves, the existence of which only began to attract rumours after Doctor Ken Leppin at the Laplace Institute accidentally tuned into their frequency while trying to hear that day's Test match score. The species, dubbed "Galactic Doots" in Leppin's notes, has not been heard from since, and may have changed frequencies to avoid being listened in on again.
In the Cosmic Age, certain technologies allowed cosmonauts to hear translated sound waves; aural renditioners, transducer thickets, and Ear Exacerbators were capable of presenting potential sound as actual noise. Battle Simulators delivered the percussive beats of space battles for captains who enjoyed an immersive near-death experience, and several of these devices were utilised by the Starbound Philarmonic Orchestra to deliver a concert in the vacuum of space. The forty-piece orchestra was perched on a small moonlet while playing pieces including Dbravnok's Celestina for Violin and Hypertrang, and Manbel's Fish Verses, which were broadcast through Battle Simulators to radios throughout the Sentum Cynosure.
Elfrida Manbel was one of the more eccentric of the Romantic composers, having grown up on Pausix Rest, near the maddening black hole cluster of the Caspirian Spiral. The sight of the whirling maelstrom was said to have sent the Pausiccian into a swound, and when she finally awoke she leaped from her hospital bed to begin whacking away at a xylopohone in the pediatric ward next door. Her incessant playing was eventually written up into musical notation, and the resulting twelve-hour symphony, entitled Whirligig for Xylophone and Clipboard Played on Small Child's Fire Truck was taken up as the official anthem of Pausix Rest three years after Manbel's death.
Mellotron-6000 was a popular Baroque and Classical composer of his period. Created accidentally when Antonio Vivaldi, in a bad mood, chucked his ottovino into an electromagnetic threshing machine at the Devout Hospital of Mercy. The harpsichord emerged in possession of some semblance of sapience, and Vivaldi instantly recruited it to help compose a number of sonatas. Although Mellotron-6000 seemed happy to compose for violin and oboe, he took umbrage with the mandolin and refused to work with Vivaldi further. Breaking out on his own, Mellotron-6000 conducted several symphonic works of his own creation, one of which shared striking similarities with "Presto (in G Minor)" from Four Seasons, but curiously preceded Vivaldi's masterwork by two years. In some of his last writings during his impoverishment, Vivaldi expressed his disdain for what he called a "beastly abomination of strings which God's quill should ne'er have touched", and died the following year. Mellotron-6000 would outlive his creator by almost a century, until his life-force suddenly dissipated during an electrical storm in 1837.
Some enterprising individuals took it upon themselves to craft their own bespoke soundtracks, to play out alongside their cosmic endeavours and adventures. Captain Dashworth, famed Hero of Vorgak 3, had his manservant Benson play his very own fanfare on a British Army bugle whenever he arrived on an alien world. Although hardly a brass player by any stretch, Benson gamely parped out the specially-prepared notes whenever occasioned, and when not in use stored excess chamois leathers inside the horn.