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Classical 101

Bad Meets Beautiful: What's Your Favorite Instrument?

As a rule, I try not to engage in polemics, whether political, religious, moral or fattening. I will make an exception for musical polemics, however, because I recently came upon a story that opened that opened that floodgate. The British newspaper The Independent recently published an opinion piece in which classical music critic Ivan Hewitt opined that the sound of the saxophone is ugly. "There's something about the saxophone that tends naturally towards a throaty bark," Hewitt wrote. He also later wrote that "the sheer beauty of the harp can be enervating." Hewitt was setting up a dichotomy between classical music and jazz, and making the point that in some instances, an instrument can sound entirely appropriate in one idiom (e.g., the saxophone in jazz) and not the other. And he went on to claim that the piano easily fit into both worlds.     Read more: Is the Sound of the Saxophone Ugly? (The Telegraph)