The New York Times

A Note to the Classically Insecure

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.

MOST PEOPLE BELIEVE THEY DON’T “GET” CLASSICAL MUSIC. BUT IN THE MOST IMPORTANT SENSE, THEY DO.

I was talking about music recently with a friend who makes his living cloning genes, manipulating molecules and investigating the pathways of the human immune system. This is a person whose intellectual molecules are clearly very well arranged. But he proceeded to tell me that although he loved classical music, when he listened to it he wasn’t able to perceive anything other than his own emotional reactions.

Could it

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