Just heard a composer speak approvingly of another composer who “changed the way we listen to music.”

I can think of two reasons to want to change the way people listen to music.

One is to elicit just the kind of admiration I heard expressed, as in: “wow, that’s amazing, he changed the way people listen to music!”  I can understand wanting to change the way people listen to music in order to get that reaction – it’s always pleasant to be admired.

On the other hand, doing things just to earn admiration seems to be aiming a bit low.

Another reason to change the way people listen to music is because you believe there is something inherently wrong with the way people listen to music.  Now I can nitpick with the best of them about the way people listen to music, ways that don’t suit my interests or beliefs, but I have to say that the ways that people have listened to music – I mean all over the world, throughout the millennia – may be one of the things I like the most about human civilization.

So, no, I don’t really want to change the way people listen to music.  I’ll leave that to people who can come up with better reasons than I can.

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