Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Great Tradition: Aristotle on Music

This will be a quick post, because this has been a very busy week.

I don't necessarily agree with Aristotle on the way he views music, particularly the moral judgements that he imposes on aspects of music that I don't think merit such judgements. For instance, he says of the flute (one of the instruments that I use to play Irish Traditional Music), that "the flute is not an instrument which has a good moral effect; it is too exciting." (64-65 in The Great Tradition)

But I do agree that music has a number of benefits, the most important being the appreciation of beautiful things. While Aristotle and I don't agree on what constitutes beautiful music, we do agree that early education in music will help children in a transfer of criteria to other things. For instance, if they know a song is beautiful because it fulfills the criteria, they can know how to judge a poem for beauty. Certainly the criteria will be different, but learning to use criteria is important.

Another benefit is the relaxation that Aristotle mentions. And here is where I'll drop a quick plug. If you find yourself in need of rest and relaxation this weekend, come to McGee's Pub in Anderson, South Carolina to see my play with Emerald Road, a traditional Irish group.

I will also say that I was able to rest and relax while watching Danu this past Thursday. They are real deal, born in Ireland musicians, and they did a really great job. If you would like to check them out, they are on iTunes.

P.S. - Emerald Road is also on iTunes
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