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    How is ‘beautiful’ music defined?

    This past week my wife asked me to compose something beautiful, preferably for the cello (as that’s her favourite instrument). I said “What do you mean?” “Not ‘intelligent’ or clever or busy, just something… beautiful.” “Meaning what, exactly?” “Oh, I don’t know. Like, a song that’s nice.” “Oh, OK!” I said. “I’m right on it!”   Er… can you help me?!   What do you think she means? Am I displaying an incredible amount of utter ignorance here? I thought some of my choral music is particularly beautiful (especially “Lucy’s Song” using a text by Charles Dickens), and if you’ve heard “A Mother’s Lament” I’m sure you’ll agree that can…