Music and Morality

“To suggest that people who live with a metric pulse as a constant background to their thoughts and movements are living in the same way, with the same kind of attention and the same pattern of challenges and rewards, as others who know music only from sitting down to listen to it, clearing their minds, meanwhile, of all other thoughts—such a suggestion is surely implausible.”

This excerpt comes from an essay by Roger Scruton published in February 2010 by the American Spectator titled “Music and Morality.”  Scruton writes on aesthetics from a philosophical perspective, and the essay argues that much of pop music has moved from a “with” dynamic to an “at” dynamic.  We don’t dance with others anymore, we dance at them.  “Death Metal” singers sing “at” audiences.  He ties in Plato.

While I am an art aficionado, I have no formal training in the philosophy of the aesthetic realm.  It’s yet another area I’m starting to explore as I get deeper into my musical journey.  What makes one piece of music more attractive to us than another?  Is there anything inherently moral about melody?

Have no fear; I will not let The American Spectator be the final word on the subject.

Thanks for reading.

Ryan

One comment

  1. […] few weeks ago I wrote a post on Music and Morality, opening with a quote by Roger Scruton,  “To suggest that people who live with a metric pulse as […]

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