“Music directly imitates the passions or states of the soul…when one listens to music that imitates a certain passion, he becomes imbued with the same passion; and if over a long time he habitually listens to music that rouses ignoble passions, his whole character will be shaped to an ignoble form.” – Aristotle
This quote goes along with the themes I’ve been discussing in my recent blog posts. Aristotle believed that music very much influences our passions which then influence our actions. We are a race of weak-willed people. We fall for sin extremely easily, and means such as music can make it less or more easy to do so. I have been focusing a lot on how inappropriate music has a negative effect on us, but appropriate and beautiful music can similarly have a positive effect on us! Think about when you listen to a Beethoven song and you feel the tune flow through you…it moves your good passions. Even think about when you are listening to a tender love ballad and think about your lover or even an imaginary one, you feel passions of love. This is how real music should make you feel. Music is a great thing…but like I’ve said many a time, we must discern the good from the bad. And we can do this in some way by observing how a song makes you feel.
“Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.” -Plato
I love this quote because it exhibits the beauty and purpose of music. The fact that Plato, one of the most brilliant minds, was able to see how powerful music really is makes it that more meaningful. There is something beautiful to music and there is a reason we blast it through our speakers everywhere we go. It isn’t just an unexplained feeling or a coincidence. Nowadays, the common way is to ignore the reason and rhyme that is behind our entire existence. Everything that is is for no reason. But God had and has a plan for everything that is, and to turn a blind eye to that is ignorant. The same goes for music. There are reasons that we enjoy it so much and it has been so prevalent throughout history…..
“Music can both establish and destroy morality. For no path is more open to the soul for the formation thereof than through the ears. Therefore when the rhythms and modes have penetrated even to the soul through these organs, it cannot be doubted that they affect the soul with their own character and conform it to themselves.” -Anicius Boethius
Boethius was a philosopher in the 6th century. I fins it very interesting that even then the effect of music was relevant. If we have known this for so long, there is no reason why we shouldn’t be more careful. It is an accepted fact that we are vulnerable to music. The answer to why that is is still up in the air…