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I think I know where you are coming from here. In music graduate school I asked a professor what useful purpose there was in having to take a course in ancient music since I could see no practical application to a modern day band director. He got very angry and said that we learn these things because they are part of the "body of knowledge" of our chosen subject area! Now 40 years later I better understand what he was talking about.

Admittedly I am one of those who enjoys the minutia of technical discussions on materials, acoustics, makes and models of saxes and mouthpieces etc. And I agree there is no direct relationship between that information and my playing skill or technique, but that does not make that information invalid to me as a musician, teacher, and performer. In fact it enhances my understanding of the the beauty and complexity of the subject(s) I have chosen to study and the instrument I have chosen to play.

You could also argue that studying the history of the development of the saxophone is a waste of time because it doesn't make you play with greater skill, but does it make you a more "well rounded" saxophonist" with a greater depth of understanding of your instrument? I believe it does.

I'm not really disagreeing with you here Grumps, but pointing out that there are other ways to look at this issue.
Maybe you could add this to your posts in the future: "SUBJECTIVE EXPERIENCES ONLY---OBJECTIVE COMMENTS ARE NOT WELCOME :)
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