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2015 | 16(3) | 162-170

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MUSIC AND MORALITY: Towards modern kalokagathia

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The ethical problems of music should be divided into two layers. The outer layer of musicethics (1) concerns interdisciplinary aspects and, more specifically, relations between musicand other areas of culture and civilization. This complex layer may be explored in orderto find answers to questions regarding the problem of the negative ethical content of contemporaryculture influencing the realm of music. Regarding the commonly understoodcharacteristic tendencies in social life, this category of problems does not, in fact, relateto music. Contrary, the inner layer of music ethics (2) concerns the autonomous music:this is a kind of music which has no contact with non-musical content. It seems that theemotional response which occurs much more often in music listeners than in people experiencingother forms of art suggests the presence of ethical elements in the very core ofautonomic music. Will, the practical force which according to Schopenhauer is directlyrepresented in music, may be considered while analyzing this yet unexplored problem.The unique ethical status of music intrigued a number of twentieth-century philosophers,including T.W. Adorno, E. Bloch, E. Cioran, N. Hartmann, and K.R. Popper. Their numerouscomments may be regarded as a call for the Platonic reuniting of music with beauty,good, and truth.





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