Morality of Music: Because Music Primarily Communicates Emotions, Its Morality May Be Judged According to Whether the Feelings Conveyed Are Positive and Noble or Negative and Base. (Cover Story: Music)
Bonta, Steve, The New American
It's often said that music is the universal language, a simple truism with many implications. Spoken languages use sets of agreed-upon symbols to express emotions and to reason abstractly. Communication through symbols, the quintessential human trait, is an absolute prerequisite for all other human action. But language isn't just a tool to communicate morally neutral facts; language is both manifestly moral and suffused with the power to sway, persuade, uplift, degrade and deceive. To claim otherwise is to ignore a vast range of sociolinguistic activities, from debates, political propaganda, and "cuss words" to poetry and sacred writ.
Music, through its patterns, rhythms, melodies, and tempo, not to mention its lyrics, is at once less capable of logical precision, and more capable of conveying emotional nuance, than spoken language. But like spoken language, all music communicates something.
All languages, including music, derive their power from two universal human traits, traits which are unavoidable consequences of our constitution as social beings. First is the ability to form habits through repetition, without which we could …
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Publication information: Article title: Morality of Music: Because Music Primarily Communicates Emotions, Its Morality May Be Judged According to Whether the Feelings Conveyed Are Positive and Noble or Negative and Base. (Cover Story: Music). Contributors: Bonta, Steve - Author. Magazine title: The New American. Volume: 18. Issue: 7 Publication date: April 8, 2002. Page number: 19+. © 2009 American Opinion Publishing, Inc. COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group.
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