Is music important?

Adrian C. North and David J. Hargreaves on two common misconceptions.
PERHAPS, before starting to read this article, you thought ‘Is it worth my while, since it’s only about music?’ Like millions, you may like to listen to the car radio on the drive home from work, but stand by idly as funding for orchestras is cut, as musicians have to ‘pay to play’ in their local bar, or as pressure is put on music to justify its position and funding in the school curriculum relative to literacy and numeracy, particularly at secondary and tertiary levels (Bray, 2000; Campaign for Music in the Curriculum, 1998; Harland et al., 2000). Music may be entertaining, but most people’s commitment to it goes little further.

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