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What the Classical devotees get wrong about modern music

For Roger Scruton the western classical tradition reigns supreme over modern music. But other harmonies are available

By Ivan Hewett   September 2018

Poles apart: Franz Schubert and Mary J Blige Photo © Pictorial Press Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo, Bennett Raglin/Getty Images for Essence

There are many ways to write a philosophy of music—but two in particular stand out. One way is to approach music with the curious ear of the ethnomusicologist open to all the varieties of music around the world. This critic sees them as embedded in specific forms of life—and only really comprehensible when viewed within them—and so is careful not to treat any musical culture as a yardstick…

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