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that are to be virtuously given, not to say to men." He only
admits two kinds of music: one violent and suited to war, the
other tranquil and suited to prayer or to persuasion. He sets out
the ethical qualities of music with a thoroughness which almost
approaches the great Chinese philosopher: "On these accounts we
attach such importance to a musical education, because rhythm and
harmony sink most deeply into the recesses of the soul, and take
most powerful hold of it, bringing gracefulness in their train,
and making a man graceful if he be rightly nurtured, ... leading
him to commend beautiful objects, and gladly receive them into
his soul, and feed upon them, and grow to be noble and good."
Plato is, however, by no means so consistent and thorough as the
Chinese moralist, for having thus asserted that it is the
influence of music which molds the soul into virtue, he proceeds
to destroy his position with the statement that "we shall never
become truly musical until we know the essential forms of
temperance and courage and liberality and munificence," thus
moving in a circle. It must be added that the Greek conception of
music was very comprehensive and included poetry.
Aristotle took a wider view of music than Plato and admitted a
greater variety of uses for it. He was less anxious to exclude
those uses which were not strictly ethical. He disapproved,
indeed, of the Phrygian harmony as the expression of Bacchic
excitement. He accepts, however, the function of music as a
katharsis of emotion, a notion which is said to have originated
with the Pythagoreans. (For a discussion of Aristotle's views on
music, see W.L. Newman, _The Politics of Aristotle_, vol. i, pp.
Athenaeus, in his frequent allusions to music, attributes to it
many intellectual and emotional properties (e.g., Book XIV,
Chapter XXV) and in one place refers to "melodies inciting to
lawless indulgence" (Book XIII, Chapter LXXV).
We may gather from the _Priapeia_ (XXVI) that cymbals and
castanets were the special accompaniment in antiquity of wanton
songs and dances: "_cymbala, cum crotalis, pruriginis arma_."
The ancient belief in the moralizing influence of music has
survived into modern times mainly in a somewhat more scientific
form as a belief in its therapeutic effects in disordered nervous
and mental conditions. (This also is an ancient belief as
witnessed by the well-known example of David playing to Saul to
dispel his melancholia.) In 1729 an apothecary of Oakham, Richard
Broune, published a work entitled _Medicina Musica_, in which he
argued that music was beneficial in many maladies. In more recent
days there have been various experiments and cases brought
forward showing its efficacy in special conditions.
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