For years, I taught Hamlet, itself a sublime human achievement, in which Hamlet opines, "What a piece of work is man! How noble in reason! how infinite in faculty!"
I thought of that speech (without Hamlet's cynicism) this morning when I read that the LIGO team had heard what the New York Times called "a cosmic chirp [that] vindicates Einstein."
Elsewhere in today's paper, Lawrence M. Krauss wrote, "Too often people ask, what's the use of science like this, if it doesn't produced faster cars or better toasters. But people rarely ask the same question about a Picasso painting or a Mozart symphony. Such pinnacles of human creativity change our perspective of our place in the universe. Science, like art, music and literature, has the capacity to amaze and excite, dazzle and bewilder. I would argue that it is that aspect of science -- it cultural contribution, its humanity -- that is perhaps its most important feature."
Count me among those who doesn't ask the use. Science is amazing, and this "music" is dazzling.