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Upper School Coffee with Miss German

When was the last time a piece of music left an impression on you because of how beautiful it sounded? What about the last time a piece of music sounded strange or even ugly? Have you ever wondered about how the music created either response in you? In his book, Understanding Music, author and philosopher Roger Scruton states: “We must see music as an act of communication, which crucially depends upon placing within the listener’s first-person perspective a state of mind that is not his own (42).” He goes on to say that music most inspires our sympathies, or understanding of both ourselves and one another, when it is relatable. Every day at ILS, students are learning how to listen to and appreciate some of the greatest pieces of Western music. What exactly does it look like to hear beauty in music? Why does it matter if we don’t? These and more questions from Scruton’s book will guide our coffee discussion “Beauty in Music.” Recommended (but not required) reading: Understanding Music: Philosophy and Interpretation by Roger Scruton, specifically chapter 6 (“Rhythm”)