“The world presents itself to me, not chiefly as a complex of visual sensations, but as a complex of aural sensations,” H.L. Mencken, himself a sometime music critic, once wrote. I’m far more aesthetically polydextrous (if that’s a word) than he was, but my long experience as a musician did make me so sensitive to what comes in through the ear that it may well amount to a kind of bias. I know, for instance, that it has a great deal to do with the way I respond to people in my daily life. At brunch yesterday, I was seated near a woman whose voice was so harsh and grating that it interfered with my ability to enjoy my meal….
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