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Letters to the Editor. Music and the human heart

I read with great interest the article in which Jacob Druckman champions the ``New Romanticism,'' a term which has been used now for a year or two [``N.Y. Philharmonic's Druckman -- the virtuoso communicator,'' Sept. 19]. I strongly suspect this change in musical styles is actually a very necessary and wholesome return to a music which appeals to the human heart and mind. The intellectualists have gone far enough; perhaps composers are getting back to real music. Edmund F. Soule Eugene, Ore.

Mr. Polisi's observations concerning Western art are accurate, and he has every right to be apprehensive (``Western music threatened,'' Sept. 25). Yet his determined focus on Western art music does not treat the cause, but rather aims at the effect.

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The core of the problem is a lack of awareness of culture, not just musical, but cross-disciplinary; not just Western, but universal. Not culture as defined by haughty elitism, but culture defined by the shared emotions and expressions of people, regardless of their socioeconomic level. Putting ``the instruments back into the [student's] hands'' is a temporary and economically discriminatory solution. Let us support creativity and curiosity -- and in doing so allow the individual to choose the medium wi thin which to grow. Aaron K. Smith Bowling Green, Ohio

What Polisi refers to in his interview is only part of the picture: The decrease in things of quality is much in evidence in our society. It is a kind of illiteracy in various guises: executives who cannot spell; public officials who cannot form balanced phrases and sentences; children who cannot sing the folk songs of their native land. Much of what our society knows comes via the television box. I am amazed to find how much conversation is based on serialized programs and advertisements. David Pizarro Mount Vernon, N.Y.

Contrary to the liberal assumption that the arts would flourish under democracy, we find dissolution in drama, theater, painting, and literature. It is depressing to note Polisi's remarks that in music, ``. . . audiences for today's concert halls . . . are in a severe decline. American cultural life will suffer the long-term consequences.'' History reveals that the greatest achievements in the arts were in the age and under the aegis of aristocracies. Harry K. Snellbaker Jamesburg, N.J.

Letters are welcome. Only a selection can be published and none individually acknowledged. All are subject to condensation. Please address letters to ``readers write.''

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