A cacophony is a mishmash of unpleasant sounds, often at loud volume. It's what you'd hear if you gave instruments to a group of four-year-olds and asked them to play one of Beethoven's symphonies.

A cacophony is a jarring, discordant mix of sounds that have no business being played together. When the orchestra tunes up before a show, it sounds like a cacophony because each musician is playing a completely different tune, at different times, and at different volumes. Once the show begins, that cacophony had better turn into a melody, or audiences will demand a refund. This allegedly occurred during the first time Igor Stravinsky's score for the ballet "The Rite of Spring" was performed because its difficult composition and discordant tone was shocking.

Definitions of cacophony

n loud confusing disagreeable sounds

Type of:
disagreeable sounds

n a loud harsh or strident noise

blare, blaring, clamor, clamour, din
Type of:
sound of any kind (especially unintelligible or dissonant sound)

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