Re: Greeks, Ethos and Rock Music (Eliot Handelman )

Subject: Re: Greeks, Ethos and Rock Music
From:    Eliot Handelman  <eliot(at)GENERATION.NET>
Date:    Wed, 3 Jun 1998 21:12:38 -0500

Douglas H. Keefe wrote: > Plato framed questions concerning the influence of different types of music on > the individual in an exceedingly useful manner. Here I beg to differ. Plato framed his questions in such a way as to draw our attention to his concept of the importance of music in a situation that we don't really grasp, and his ideas, as taken up by others, have never evolved beyond that basic claim. As a matter of fact it seems to me that the whole "effects of music" doctrine, however you construe this, let's say as a venue of research, has not produced a single fact ever admitted under the cumulative rubric of music theory however you look at that. I'd suggest that Plato's angle on music is basically a dead end, in particular the idea that the effect of music can be ascertained independently of the total situation in which someone is involved with music, or even that someone's relation to music, whatever the situation, can usefully be analyzed as an effect of any kind. Maybe "interaction within a total situation" would be a more useful paradigm than Plato's endlessly bandied-about, never developed, and ultimately incomprehensible thesis. -- eliot McGill is running a new version of LISTSERV (1.8c on Windows NT). Information is available on the WEB at

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