We invest a great deal in systems: naturally!  It is better to have a municipal system that brings water to millions of households than to have everyone carrying a bucket or two per day home from the Hudson River.
But some systems are not as worthwhile as they may at first seem.  Systems that restrict our perceptions are of questionable value; at best they are kept in balance with overall openness to new experience, to the not-yet-systematized.
I recall a flutist demonstrating how hard it is to get adult students to play the kind of squeaks and squawks that young players are so embarrassed by, when precisely those noises are what some contemporary music calls for.  Much of that music, by the way, is seeking to circumvent the years of conditioning to rigid tone systems that have routinized so much of our hearing.


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