The establishment of the Galactic Empire following the end of the Clone Wars brought with it an age of draconian censure to the music of the galaxy. The Imperial Board of Culture was founded, whose purpose was to foment pro-Imperial thought and limit or outright ban any message contrary to the New Order in popular entertainment. The board reviewed all holo-films, novels, and sound slugs prior to their uploading to the galactic distribution nets, and issued them one of three ratings. Pro-Imperial or totally innocuous works, such as “The Mantooine Minuet” (a personal favorite of Emperor Palpatine), the Navy’s imposing parade anthem, “Imperial March,” the neo-waltzes and ganther dances of Nabicci Futana, and the ballads of the Ho’Din diva Annadayle Fayde were passed outright. Works deemed worthless or mildly offensive received a scarlet rating, such as mainstream Core World band Starburst, the track listing of whose second release Only In Your Dreams was deemed offensive and possibly political in nature. Scarlet releases were issued with a warning message, but more significantly, possession of scarlet material could be considered a misdemeanor offense at the discretion of Imperial officials, leading to artists and consumers being conveniently arrested or penalized as subversives (like the Alderaanian band Red Line who disappeared entirely after their vocal condemnation of the Ghorman Massacre at a live performance). The third action of the Imperial Board of Culture was to outright ban politically charged, anti-Imperial works, fining artists and consumers alike up to 1000 credits and imprisoning them. The rowdy scrak band Billi B And The Paradise Gang were early victims. Anti-Imperial group Deeply Religious dutifully submitted all three of their albums, Deeply Religious, The Emperor Of Air And Darkness, and Advanced Explosive Handbook, to the IBoC. All three were banned and subsequently released and distributed on the black market.
In a galaxy of 400 billion stars, where sentient life emerged on some 20 million distinct worlds, music, one of the hallmarks of civilized culture, has evolved in an almost limitless variety.
Some styles remain planetary bound, their appreciation limited to their progenitors. Gamorrean opera and baka rock has mostly failed to find an appreciative audience in the galaxy at large, outside of expatriate Gamorreans, who tout its snorting and squealing as sublime. Likewise Verpine choral arrangements, whose members rub their legs together to produce their version of music, are not particularly well-regarded other than by insectoid species. In a pangalactic community of such varied biology and aural temperament, some sonic compositions even have negative physical effects which their creators are immune to. The deafening noise of Aridinian folk music famously causes human ears to bleed within the sounding of a few notes and has thus been strictly regulated outside of its native system. The smazzo percussion group Shluur was once escorted off the planet Clak’dor VII after it was found the music of its avant-garde composer Wurokk provoked violent aggression in the native Bith population and nearly leveled the capitol city of Weogar in destructive riots.
Yet other genres, such as the perennially popular jizz, seem to break orbit from their homeworlds and join the Galactic community at large, changing and in turn being changed by its interactions with other cultures. Symphonic classical composition has been a kind of neutral musical ground for the expression of heterogeneous cultures for millennia. A few musical styles, such as the traditional music of the reptilian Tarasin of Cularin, achieve popularity because of the unique, pleasing effect they have on extraterrestrial species; in this case, inexplicably soothing the gills of aquatic peoples.
It is known that the Wookiees of Kashyyyk beat their tree drums in celebration of Life Day as early as 1,500,000 BBY, and early writings found in the Petrax Historic Quarter of Coruscant speak of attempts to duplicate with woodwind instruments the haunting moonsong that occurs when wind passes through the wingflutes of ringed moon shadowmoths. Millennia before the Battle of Yavin, the fragile-boned, flying reptilian Vors of Vortex in the Glythe sector were already performing their annual storm solstice Concert of the Winds, manipulating the passage of wind through the myriad tunnels and apertures of the mountainous, delicate crystalline Cathedral of Winds to produce complex, ethereal music unheard anywhere else in the galaxy.
“The fast draw is a bit overrated….sure it sells holoflicks, but in real life? I’ve seen more go down that way than just about any other. Sure, speed counts, but so does accuracy. It doesn’t do you any good if you shoot the floor five times while your opponent puts the bead on you for good….the real test is the look before the guns come out. When you look someone directly in the eyes, that’s what really separates the professionals from the amateurs.” — Han Solo, to historian Voren Na’al
“The fast draw is a bit overrated…sure it sells holoflicks, but in real life? I’ve seen more go down that way than just about any other. Sure, speed counts, but so does accuracy. It doesn’t do you any good if you shoot the floor five times while your opponent puts the bead on you for good…the real test is the look before the guns come out. When you look someone directly in the eyes, that’s what really separates the professionals from the amateurs.” — Han Solo, to historian Voren Na’al