“[Surrealist music is] the combination of historically devalued musical fragments by means of such editing that allows them to give meaning to them within the framework of a new aesthetic unity” – Theodore Adorno


Surrealist music is a fairly obscure genre of music. It contains elements such as unexpected juxtapositions, dream-like sounds, automatism, improvisation and collage.

The term “surrealism” was coined by Guillaume Apollinaire to describe the music for the ballet Parade (1917). The music was scored by Erik Satie and produced by Diaghilev along with Cocteau, Picasso, and Satie himself:


Surrealist music is often associated with “Dadaism”, another artistic movement that came right before Surrealism and gained recognition during World War 1.  When the war ended, many artists who participated in Dadaism began practising Surrealism.

Surrealist music faded over the years instead of evolving. However, it has influenced some other genres such as psychedelic music, ambient music etc. Hal Rammel, Nurse with Wound, The Psychedelic Furs, even certain songs by rock bands like The Beatles and Pink Floyd are examples of the influence of surrealist music.

Here’s some samples of surrealist music for you to explore!







– Vrinda Rastogi, Amity International School, Noida

  I like this!

Leave a Reply