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This study addresses the historic, cultural context of the arts, with a focus on music and music education. The rise of analytic (speculative-rationalist) aesthetic theory of artistic autonomy in the middle and later eighteenth century had important consequences for teaching the arts. Curricular advocacy of aesthetic benefits are generally taken for granted by teachers in the arts, especially formally trained music teachers who inherit the aesthetic meme from their university studies. However, music has always been a social praxis, and its value is the sociality conveyed by all musical forms and formats. As such, the value of music in general education should not focus on benefits assumed by aesthetic speculations but instead stress a pragmatic and lasting impact on the lives of students, grown into adults, and on society. Appreciation is seen pragmatically in life use.