If I could add one required class to every school, it would be a class on imagination. The students would learn the tools of critical thinking to curb excess imagination, and they would learn to recognize and suppress their own biases so they can imagine things outside their social box.
It won’t happen, but imagining it makes me happy."
OhmygodOhmygodOhmygod! Scott Adams inadvertently referenced the title of my blog with my a one-liner which essentially frames my entire shallow belief system! I'm a hero!
Bell didn't say it, but Bach's "Chaconne" is also considered one of the most difficult violin pieces to master. Many try; few succeed. It's exhaustingly long -- 14 minutes -- and consists entirely of a single, succinct musical progression repeated in dozens of variations to create a dauntingly complex architecture of sound. Composed around 1720, on the eve of the European Enlightenment, it is said to be a celebration of the breadth of human possibility.
If Bell's encomium to "Chaconne" seems overly effusive, consider this from the 19th-century composer Johannes Brahms, in a letter to Clara Schumann: "On one stave, for a small instrument, the man writes a whole world of the deepest thoughts and most powerful feelings. If I imagined that I could have created, even conceived the piece, I am quite certain that the excess of excitement and earth-shattering experience would have driven me out of my mind."
So, that's the piece Bell started with.