This is the premise that spawned the world. All sound has a magical effect. I haven’t had a chance to elaborate on it fully, only in short theories and concepts, so I’ve prepared an analogy in hopes that it would make the idea clear. After that, we can explore the rest of this world.
Music in this world is like chemistry. Every note, pitch, duration, volume, harmony, and melody is a chemical, temperature, pressure. Sometimes, the combination of a note and a pitch is explosive. Sometimes it changes the state of something, like how temperature changes a liquid into a solid. If you combine certain chemicals with water, you can dissolve the chemical, alter the water, create a new compound entirely… and sometimes, you toss salt in water, and all you get is wet salt.
In essence, magic is the same. Though every sound has a magical effect, some combinations of pitch and volume just don’t create that badass explosion. Do you remember titration? Where you had two tubes set up to let loose one tiny drop of a chemical at a time into a flask? And you had to turn the liquid in the flask clear? It only worked at just the right combination of fluids. Even one extra drop could turn the whole thing pink. In a way, the sound of this world works like this. It is as much a science as it is an art.
That said… a ‘dud’ is not useless or ineffective. Salt water isn’t particularly interesting, chemically. You can separate salt and water without much difficulty; just a little heat. Yet there are millions of creatures that would die without that salt in the water. Salt water is the life source of more creatures than we can even imagine. Not every song in their world causes an explosion or does something we might consider ‘magical’, but every sound is essential for supporting the world.
Like chemistry, as well, there are… neutralizers, one could call them. Things which can reverse or prevent an effect. These are called silencers in #soundworld. Silence is as much a sound as any other, yet its effects can be catastrophic. On a wide scale, silence can destroy a city. Imagine the effects of silence on a community (watch the Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode, Hush), then imagine the effects of a city without - say - gasoline. Combined. Really think about it. No transportation except a bike and your feet. Eventually, a lack of gasoline could lead to a lack of power. Many generators run off of gas. The same is true of sound. It has become the infrastructure of city planning. Roads are built based on acoustics.
What does all this mean on a smaller scale? You still have to be careful. Not every ‘chemical reaction’ is Mozart. Explosions can be caused by the sound of a thousand men clapping their hands in a seemingly chaotic fashion. A sporting event can turn into a disaster if they applauded incorrectly. And many of these effects are less thrilling, but still present. A single word might give the first thing it hits a shake. Hardly detrimental, but it means that magic is omnipresent. Unavoidable.
In terms of culture, this has a lot of repercussions. Nobody can truly oppress magic. Magic is accessible. The only way to keep the common folk from using magic is to keep them from creating sound, and be assured, there are those that have tried. Even today, some cultures have put a high value on silence. Some languages are created in such a fine way as to prevent magic from being used in speech, crafted elegantly and purposely to avoid it at any volume. They are ugly languages, but spoken languages. Other cultures embrace it. Others still abuse it. Just the right tune floating down the streets to keep the people complacent.
If you intend to follow the project, keep these things in mind when considering the scope of #soundworld.