Musical knowledge is made a travesty by being completely split off from musical action and is confined to the facts of history and 'theory'. Listening to music and appraising it are the keys to understanding music history. A working group was set up to draft the National Curriculum music curriculum, the first time in Britain that music or indeed any school subject was to have a legally binding framework. Some London secondary school music teachers offered to help with this experiment and each identified an average to bright class with a regular music lesson at weekly intervals. The initial analysis indicated that the first two minutes of 'In the South' were mostly perceived from the very first hearing as on the side of active, varied, dark, large and complex. It seems curious that decisions with statutory force affecting children in schools should be finally in the hands of people with no musical credentials and little relevant experience of music education.