When I was a kid, my grandmother used to put on records of her favorite Mozart piano concerto or favorite Haydn symphonies. Occasionally, during rainy days, on would slip some Beethoven or even Brahms. Growing up, classical music (the title I gave to all music that didn’t have a rock beat or any music that had a soothing, vaguely soporific effect—yeah, I’m even looking at you, Enya!) was meant to be enjoyed in the background. It was meant to accompany your day to day activities, blending in seamlessly with cooking or doing the Sunday morning crossword. Mozart somehow softened the blow that I didn’t know 27 across: "Literary pseudonym (four letters)." Fast forward many, but not too many, years later and I’m a professional musician acting as an air siren. Behind me is a snare drum playing a crescendo that is supposed to be become “unbearable.” Literally. In his part he is literally asked to play louder and louder until the volume becomes unbearable. What is going on here?