Stravinsky on how NOT to appreciate music

Only Strings

igor stravinsky

“Most people like music because it gives them certain emotions, such as joy, grief, sadness, an image of nature, a subject for daydreams, or—still better—oblivion from “everyday life.” They want a drug—“dope.” It matters little whether this way of thinking of music is expressed directly or is wrapped up in a veil of artificial circumlocutions. Music would not be worth much if it were reduced to such an end.

“When people have learned to love music for itself, when they listen with other ears, their enjoyment will be of a far higher and more potent order, and they will be able to judge it on a higher plane and realize its intrinsic value. Obviously such an attitude presupposes a certain degree of musical development and intellectual culture, bit that is not very difficult of attainment.

“Unfortunately, the teaching of music, with a few exceptions, is bad from the beginning. One…

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