About 10 years ago, an old guy I know told me about a story that he'd read about 20-30 years before that. Of course, the name is long gone, but I'd like to go look it up and give it a read.
The essentials that I can recall are that 3 planets are applying for membership in a galactic federation and part of the process is that a delegate from each world must compose a piece of music that's representative of their culture. One delegate composes a violin solo. Another was from a very poor world and composed a piece performed only by clicking two sticks together. The last delegate was from a world with very advanced technology and was able to create a machine to compose the most beautiful piece and also transmit to your mind beautiful imagery to match the music. The world selected was the one whose delegate clicked the sticks together (or was it both the violin and the sticks that made it in? I'm a little fuzzy on the details after 10 years). The world with the advanced technology was rebuked (or were they incinerated?) for having realized so little from so much potential while the poor planet's delegate was able to accomplish much more (relatively) with just two sticks.
Can anyone help me out with a name? This story feels very prescient and I'd like to read it.