This is a rich, rich subject that we should return to again, but I just wanted to respond briefly to John's remarks re: Hanno, Thomas Mann, and classical music. John writes:
I can't speak to whether or not Mann ever tried to compose, but his grasp of the subject was firm enough for Alex Ross to declare Doctor Faustus the greatest book on classical music written in the 20th century. Having not read nearly as many scholarly works on the subject as Ross, I'm in no way qualified to judge that remark, but I can say that my own reading of Faustus greatly enhanced my understanding of classical music.
One of my pet peeves about classical music writing is that generally writers attempt to put the music into words, but it either ends up sounding like a bunch of jargon of a bunch of flowery language that in no way conveys anything vaguely musical. Well, Mann writes a lot about the sounds of music in Faustus (he does, after all have an entire fictitious oeuvre to describe) and I can hear Adrian's pieces. If nothing else, Mann can evoke the feel of music on the page, no mean feat.
I think Mann also must have had a firm grasp of the subject-matter since he includes a full, lengthy, and in my opinion quite lucid lecture on Beethoven's final piano sonata in Faustus. (Ross also admires it.) Some of the knowledge Mann exhibits on this subject in Faustus also comes through in descriptions of classical music in Buddenbrooks vis a vis Hanno.