Music: Declassed

Igor Stravinsky was trying to explain to a Los Angeles judge just how it felt to be a popular composer.

In the first place, he complained in his deposition, Leeds Music Corp.'s spoony adaptation (Summer Moon—TIME, Nov. 3, 1947) of the rondo from his Firebird Suite was "devoid of musical merit" and had "declassed" him. It had also damaged him "morally" to the tune of $250,000.

What did "declassed" mean? Answered Stravinsky: "To put somebody in a lower hierarchy." Said he: "When somebody feels himself a serious composer of classical music and suddenly is publicized as a jukebox composer—you know that hurt me."...

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