Lament on the Death of Music, Leila Lustig

Dr. Lustig writes: I happened to read in The New York Times: "Still, if the pessimistic view is right, and if 'music' means an act of communication between musician and hearer, then our era is near the descending end of a great curve that was Western music. That thought carries with it a sadness that the perennial newness of Mozart can ever lighten but never quite assuage." (Will Crutchfield, July 8, 1984)
Talk about throwing down the gauntlet! After mentally composing a number of letters to the Times editor, I decided the only way to answer his taunt was in music. Something bluesy would be good for saxophones and  voice, and I wrote my own text:
Music died yesterday.
I read it in the News.
She didn't just fade away
Like some forgotten blues.
It must have been homicide ...
The papers didn't say
For certain who killed her ...
Was it Igor Stravinsky,
With his frightening Rite of Spring?
He called it "Sacre";
They called it "sacrilege. "
Or it it Might have been Claude Debussy
Out with his faun
One wan
Afternoon.
Or Richard Wagner
Maybe ...Or Chopin;
With his mad chromatic modulations
He may
Have paved
The way
For everything that is going wrong with our tunes today.
Not even Beethoven
Is beyond suspicion !
***
Wait a minute!
Do you believe everything you read?
Have they ever found the body?
Is music really dead?
***
I guess not.

Agreeing with Crutchfield about the 'Perennial newness' of Mozart, I composed a little 'Mozart' of my own to begin the piece, which gives way to a blue-note ostinato. Next, it was logical that literal quotes from" revolutionary" works by Stravinsky, Debussy, Wagner, Chopin and Beethoven should telegraph backward along the" great curve." Having arrived almost back at Mozart, though, I found myself stuck: if I was going to refute Crutchfield's pessimistic view, I couldn't just stop here! For many days I gazed balefully at my score. My fickle muse must have been off helping some other composer. Suddenly she returned and blessed me with the obvious answer: turn that "great curve" into a boomerang! I simply rewound my K-Tel Classic Hits, homing back relentlessly through BeethovenChopinWagnerDebussyStravinsky to the present, where music is still alive and kicking. Mozart gets the last word, though, because I think he would have enjoyed the joke.