How is it that even music without words can speak to us? And if it speaks to me, does music speak to others in similar ways? Another way of thinking about such questions is to ask: Does music involve meanings and values that address whole communities? This course examines music across a range of western musical genres in light of the notion of musical value. While different people find music valuable for a number of reasons, this course asks how different musics themselves articulate different values and considers the extent to which those values support or contradict the values that we hold both as individuals and as members of the world community. Focusing on issues raised in Julian Johnson’s provocative book, Who needs classical music? the course is concerned, not with distinctions between popular and classical music, but with addressing questions related to human and musical meaning. These questions cut across boundaries of genre and probe the heart of why and how we make the musical judgments we do. Such questions demand that we engage music self-critically, as it unfolds, and that we consider why, years after its initial creation, the music of the Beatles or of Mozart remains central to our humanity.