Monday, April 5, 2010

What a Classical Education Does To Your Musical Appreciation

"Peter, she felt sure, could hear the whole intricate pattern, every part separately and simultaneously, each independent and equal, separate but inseparable, moving over and under and through, ravishing heart and mind together." (Gaudy Night, Dorothy L. Sayers.)

A convicting quote. He's apparently, by the way, listening to Bach.


E.E. said...

That's a very interesting quote, John.

However, I fail to see how it in any way supports the premise of your title. Is your title referring to yourself, or is there some particular thing in that quote that refers to an affect of classical education on music appreciation?

Magister Perotinus said...

I'm sorry I haven't responded to this yet. The thing to keep in mind here was that Dorothy Sayers, in her pessimistic way, was the original proponent of restoring the trivium as the primary means of a Classical education in the modern world. In other words, she was, in some way, the primary catalyst for starting the movement toward Classical education today. It would be no stretch to imagine that Lord Peter Wimsey, especially in the context of Gaudy Night, is her sort of epitome of a classically educated person.

The relevance here is that he understands Bach from a composer's perspective without having to be an immensely talented, professional musician. He can play some piano, of course, but he's not a genius, musician by trade, or otherwise. He's simply well-educated. This is what we should be aiming towards.