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Classical 101

Pluto May Be Small, but It SOUNDS Big

Pluto and Charon

NASA's New Horizons interplanetary probe has been much in the news recently as it approached it's rendezvous with Pluto in the outer reaches of our solar system.  As you most likely have read, when the New Horizons probe was launched in 2006, Pluto still had planet status.  It has since been reduced to what was called a "dwarf planet," sliding down the chart faster than a B-list celebrity. 

What do we make of Pluto?  It has moons and we now know it is somewhat larger than we thought.  It's a bit of a maverick.  While the rest of us in this solar system have orbits which tend to be circular and on a similar plane, Pluto has a more elliptical orbit which is also on about a 17 degree incline.  Sometimes it's up...sometimes it's down.

The thing which makes me vote to give Pluto it's planet status back: It has it's own music.

Gustav Holst, who wrote The Planets in early 20th century, knew nothing of Pluto, which wasn't discovered until two years before Holst died.  The composer did try to add Pluto to his creation, but a stroke slowed him down.  He eventually laid it aside, unhappy with his efforts.

In the late 20th century, Colin Matthews set out to change this slight of the smallest member of our planetary family.  The Holst scholar had studied the composer's work extensively, which enabled him to write music which complimented the existing work.

Even with Pluto's 2006 demotion, maybe the music will give Pluto enough 'cred' to apply for reinstatement.