This can be heard very well in the compositions that Zorn wrote for his band, Naked City. Trademark: musical blocks without a traditional development, a musical structure involving a lot of juxtaposition and discontinuity. 'The biggest influences I had were Stravinsky, who worked in block forms; Ives, who was also interested in weird juxtapositions and discontinuity in a certain way; and what came off the tube, which I was brought up on ... The music is put together in a very - 'picaresque' is an interesting word - I would use maybe 'filmic' way, montage. It's made of separate moments that I compose completely regardless of the next, and then I pull them, cull them, together. It's put together in a style that causes questions to be asked, rather than answered ... So it's put together in blocks and moves from one thing to the other really quickly, and draws upon many elements or traditions' (Strickland, p.127-8). In another interview, he further mentions the influence of film and cartoon soundtracks.
 McNeilly discusses the difference between Zorn and John Cage's attitude to noise. I will follow his line of reasoning, but with some modifications, adjustments, extensions or reductions. For Cage, noise is the other of music, an other that has the same status as a parergon, not simply outside music, and not easily detached from it. At once separated from music and part of every musical experience, on the outside and on the inside simultaneously. Noise threatens music, and it threatens the inside of music ceaselessly when one does not accept these extraneous and non-intended sounds that are always there. The hierarchical opposition between noise and music is deconstructed in Cage's work. First (not necessarily in any chronological order), noise is admitted into the realm of music. Then the situation is reversed: conventional musical sounds appear in surroundings determined by noise. So, in his work the hierarchical order between noise and music disappears. And then, this conceptual order is overturned and displaced: his work consists of a certain - often minimal - organization of sound in which music is just some (special) kind of noise among other noises. A deconstruction of the border between noise and music. But also an emancipation of noise, of non-intended sounds, of sounds that are usually excluded from music (cf. Cage and Noise) .
 Exploiting and exploding popular musical conventions. Zorn's music never attempts to abandon its generic or conventional musical ties. His work is never quite unrecognizable or alien to an accustomed listener. Rather, those ties are exploited and disjointed to the point of throwing such a listener off balance while still remaining recognizable. The listener who knows her or his pop-culture has her expectations jolted, scattered, smashed and dis-arranged. This music relocates her or his aesthetic perspective to a moveable feast of possibilities. Zorn thwarts her or his musical expectations; he de-familiarizes the listener. Anticipated elements are absent or transformed. In this way, his music motivates the listener to act; it activates the listener. This is the purport of the story that McNeilly confronts us with. And I agree, although I would avoid speaking about Zorn's music in such general terms. This alleged effect is much less apparent, for example, when listening to his Masada or Bar Kokhba projects. However, here I want to delve more deeply into an apparently logical conclusion that McNeilly draws from these reflections, a conclusion I do not want to subscribe to without question. According to McNeilly, Zorn uses and abuses the 'old' order, the status quo of popular culture, in order to shock the listener to an awareness of her/his/its corroded conditions. By going against convention, Zorn makes the listener aware of her or his norms. His noise politicizes the aural environment. I want to point out this subtle shift in position from listener to composer. McNeilly leads us to believe that it is Zorn's purpose to provoke the listener. Without a doubt, that is what happens to many people who are introduced to his music for the first time. And, of course Zorn, will smile meaningfully. But I wonder if this is a purpose, rather than a consequence of his music. Previously – in following up on McNeilly's comments – I wrote on the difference between Cage and Zorn and here I could establish yet another difference (and different from McNeilly as well). For Cage, bringing noise into the realm of music is (also) a political provocation, an attack on the establishment and on the conventions of the music world. For Zorn, the insertion of noise serves, first of all, a musical purpose. The possible de-familiarization is at best an effect of this purpose. 'The point of [Naked City] was not to confuse people ... although a lot of people think it was ... For me, it was about writing; it was about having a machine that could play back anything that I came up with', Zorn says emphatically (Gagne, p.533, my italics).
 Perhaps Zorn's de- and re-territorialization of musical styles has the effect of dismantling a musical history and categorization (although you can only debate these categories when you've first accepted them). Maybe (probably) it alters how people tend to listen. But Zorn does not seem to be that interested in the effects that his music has on an audience. The listeners 'don't even have to like it'. He is primarily interested in his music ('Instead of dealing with pitches, I deal with phrases, shapes, genres, quotations, gestures') and in his musicians. The music must be challenging and attractive to them. 'When they talk about that 'Serious Fun' shit, I think they've got it completely ass-backwards: They're talking about the musicians up there being serious, and the audience having fun. Forget it. I think the musicians should be having fun, and the audience should be taking it seriously. That's really what my music is about in a lot of ways' (Gagne, p.526).