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“Atlas Shrugged” Quote #4

March 4, 2009

trombones “That is the payment I demand. Not many can afford it. I don’t mean your enjoyment. I don’t mean your emotion – emotions be damned! – I mean your understanding and the fact that your enjoyment was of the same nature as mine, that it came from the same source: from your intelligence, from the conscious judgment of a mind able to judge my work by the standard of the same values that went to write it – I mean, not the fact that you felt, but that you felt what I wished you to feel, not the fact that you admire my work, but that you admire it for the things I wished to be admired.”

– composer Richard Halley, in Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand

One of the best rationales for why we should teach music in schools I’ve ever heard. Do you want to know what the composer wanted you to get out of the music? Then learn what music is about, instead of only trying to appreciate it on a superficial level. Aaron Copland was too generous when he called that superficial level the aesthetic level of appreciation. (Read What To Listen For In Music, by Aaron Copland.)

And if there is music today that sounds like the music Rand describes as Halley’s, it’s Stephen Melillo’s.

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