This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Music And Morality Essay

2044 words - 8 pages

Music and Morality

"Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man, and make gentle the life of this world." This famous Robert Kennedy quote reminds us of how influential our predecessors were to us in many different facets, including music. Throughout history, we see how dearly important music and the morality of music were for many societies. As early as 400 B.C.E, during the time of philosophers like Socrates and Plato, music (although much different from what it is today) greatly influenced the mores of society. In the earliest times it was deemed inappropriate and unlawful for music to have an inhibitory affect on the mores of society. As history unfolds itself however, we come to see how greatly this changes. In the days of the above Greek philosophers, society had the ultimate say in the influence of moral content in music. However, in the course of time, even up to present day, societies influence decreases as music makers continuously take more liberties in the practice of their art.

In the early 400's B.C.E., Socrates, a well-known Athenian citizen, spent the majority of his time expounding his philosophy of life in the streets of Greece to anyone who cared to listen. His mission, which he explains in the Apology, was to expose the ignorance of those who thought themselves wise and to try to convince his fellow citizens that every man is responsible for his own moral attitudes. The earliest dialogues of Plato, of which Euthyphro is one of the best examples, show him seeking to define ethical terms and asking awkward questions (Ross 2001).

In Plato's Euthyphro, Socrates goes on a long, confusing tirade at this point in his conversation about piety. Basically he is explaining that something is "not pious because the gods love it, but rather the gods love what is pious because it is pious" (Plato 9-12). The thing that is particularly ironic about this part of the Socratic Dialogue is that there was a Daedalus statue (one made of wood) nearby the king-archon's court where this conversation is happening. Daedalus statues, according to Greek mythology, have the ability to move themselves when something "magical" or "beautiful" happens (Plato 13). It was at this point in the dialogue that the Daedalus tree was moved with beauty, the beauty stemming from Socrates' melodic responses to Euthyphro's questioning. It was almost rather musical and rhyming; so musical that the wooden statue was moved. This is probably one of the earliest accounts of music and its dynamic impact on society; a wooden statue was moved emotionally and physically (as almost in dance) to the sound of Socrates' melodic responses.

The Greek term hosion means "the knowledge of the proper ritual in prayer and sacrifice, and its performance" (Plato 5). Socrates was ultimately accused of lack of hosion. He was under indictment by king Meletus for corrupting the youth of the city and not...

Find Another Essay On Music and Morality

scholarship letter Essay

1244 words - 5 pages level of consciousness and morality of not only the composer, but also the performer because the listener is assimilating it through the imprinted music. So in a way, not only is the performer playing his instrument, but he is also “playing” the audience. If this is really the case, then we need to be more aware of the kind of music we are exposed to. Today, everyone who is connected to the Internet has access to an immense wealth of information

Freud's Theories Applied to Peter Shaffer's Amadeus

996 words - 4 pages people the composers belonged to, wanted in music. However, Mozart chose to work on his own seeking music although he was in an economical difficulty that he was not able to get any money for a salary from the palace.4) Mozart's Father Representing the Morality Principle and SuperegoThe character of Mozart's father is totally different from Mozart's character mentioned above. Mozart's father was really responsible for what he did in life and

The Music Evolution and Jazz

1123 words - 5 pages Jazz comprises of a wide range of music from the ragtime to the present music listened to by many people. The music evolution has taken roughly 100 years and jazz has been put in this particular evolution as one of the music styles today. In the definition of jazz, there is no actual definition of jazz because it a composition of very many music styles hence making it hard to get the required definition that would describe it fully. Attempts


580 words - 2 pages "Cabaret" combines high drama, realistic if unconventional morality, and strong characters with astounding melodies. It was based on the play "I Am a Camera" by John van Druten. John Kander, the composer of Cabaret pushed the music into serious moral and Musical terrain. With the emergence of popular music threatening his career as a theatre composer he took his chances and tried a new style of musical. 'When popular music seemed to stop caring

Napster Case Study

1777 words - 7 pages decision makers such as music companies to monitor the use of their artistic products. This can give them indication regarding the popular artists and by producing the music albums of such artists the company could maximize its revenues. The ethical dilemmas presented in this case study have definitely taken its toll on its consumers. If revolutionary organizations like Napster did not challenge the principles and morality of our society

Music can Cure Stress

625 words - 3 pages In other hand, sound or music could cure one’s stress. Different people deal with different music; some people like rock metal, pop, soul music, jazz and so on. Music could let people’s mind feel calm as well relax. Listening to music can have a very relaxing effect on people’s minds and bodies, especially slow or quiet classical music. This type of music can have a beneficial effect on dealing stress. Relaxing is a way most important to settle

The Essential Nietzsche

1724 words - 7 pages . His friendship with Wagner has undoubtedly left an impression on that man but it is unknown to what extent. It is also fair to say that Wagner himself left a prominent impression of Nietzsche, because in his later years he dedicated two books to the study and criticism of Wagner and his music. Nietzsche's ideas may not be tangible, and some of them might be absolutely incorrect in today's society, but his ideas of Master and Slave morality

Narrative Bibliography

975 words - 4 pages Brianna GrantEnglish 112Annotated BibliographyOctober 1st,2014Purcell, N. (2003). Death metal music: the passion and politics of a subculture. McFarland.In this book Mrs. Purcell summarizes the metal psyche and deeply analyzes the metalcommunity in a professional manner. In her book she goes through her research and examinesthe stereotypical outlook while trying to break down and fully explain the metal community.Basically she records the

Determinants of Music Piracy: Analyzed

728 words - 3 pages Duke University and the Department of Justice recently published paper entitled “The Determinants of Music Piracy in a Sample of College Students .” In this essay they examine a group of college students from a Southern University to determine their willingness to purchase music (WTP), at which price they would be willing to purchase music, and also determined each students morality using a five question proxy measure developed by Wood et al

Title: Against Censorship in Music This paper is about censorship in music. For those rock 'n'roll music with dirty lyrics

1066 words - 4 pages ' morality, because some music cannot even be categorized to art, music should be censored.Objection! Take Picasso's paintings for example, many of his works depict nude subjects. Those pieces are displayed to the public in galleries and museums throughout the world. Art is something that the viewer or listener observes and interprets himself or herself. Nobody has the right to tell someone what he or she are and are not allowed to see or hear. One

Censorship in Music is a Violation of Constitutional Rights

942 words - 4 pages As a whole, progression is the main basis of society. Humans are capable of creating things unimaginable; one of these things is music. A collection of organized sound with an underlying “feeling”, alone it’s able to capture and enlighten any audience of any age. Music is one of the most beautiful things on this planet, but isn’t it only appropriate the full expressions of songs be unfiltered? Since 1927 the government has controlled what goes

Similar Essays

Downloading Music And Movies Harm The Artist

1512 words - 7 pages streams for the music acquisition. The illegal downloaded music might benefit for some people who never have a chance to explore for music. It might hurt music creators in the financial aspect; however, it could spread the culture influence into the next generation people in the developing countries. This kind of impact cannot be measured in terms of the finance or morality. Although only the few recording artists and producers are harmed by

Changes In The Music Industry Essay

2608 words - 11 pages vices. Particularly notorious is the hip-hop and rap categories. Their apparent love for these vices leaves a lot to be desired in determining the role that these genres play in the society. Years ago, music carried a message with it. Most messages were about life experiences and how to progress in life while still maintaining morality. It does not matter whether the artists of the old preached water and drank wine because, in the end, they

Illegal Music Downloads Essay

1200 words - 5 pages affects the artist and the Production Company?a. What type of economic impact does downloading illegal music has on production companies?b. What economic impact downloading illegal music has on the Artist?4. How do this practice affect society?a. It this a morality issue?b. What demographics are more prompt to download illegal music?c. What recourse society has to start early education?Is Illegal downloading music off the Internet morally

Musicians And Composers Of World War Ii

1654 words - 7 pages they both have the same heroic, German spirit. No other composer came close to the genius that Beethoven possessed. Beethoven believed that strength is the morality of the man who stands out from the rest (“Nazi Approved Music”). Elly Ney, a piano prodigy that hated Jews, was the daughter of an army sergeant in the Nazi Party. Because of the hatred towards Jewish people, they lost their jobs and gigs, so there were many musician jobs not being