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[655d] of affording pleasure to the soul.1 But such an assertion is quite intolerable, and it is blasphemy even to utter it. The fact which misleads us is more probably the following—


Inasmuch as choric performances are representations of character, exhibited in actions and circumstances of every kind, in which, the several performers enact their parts by habit and imitative art, whenever the choric performances are congenial to them in point of diction, tune or other features (whether from natural bent or from habit, or from all these causes combined),

1 i.e. music is commonly judged solely by the amount of pleasure it affords, without any regard to the quality of the pleasure. The Athenian proceeds to show how dangerous a doctrine this is: music, he maintains, should not be used merely to pander to the low tastes of the populace, but rather treated as an educational instrument for the elevation of public morals.

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