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[1341b] [1] and all the instruments that require manual skill.And indeed there is a reasonable foundation for the story that was told by the ancients about the flute. The tale goes that Athena found a flute and threw it away. Now it is not a bad point in the story that the goddess did this out of annoyance because of the ugly distortion of her features; but as a matter of fact it is more likely that it was because education in flute-playing has no effect on the intelligence, whereas we attribute science and art to Athena.

And since we reject professional education in the instruments and in performance1 (and we count performance in competitions as professional, for the performer does not take part in it for his own improvement, but for his hearers' pleasure, and that a vulgar pleasure, owing to which we do not consider performing to be proper for free men, but somewhat menial; and indeed performers do become vulgar, since the object at which they aim is a low one, as vulgarity in the audience usually influences the music, so that it imparts to the artists who practise it with a view to suit the audience a special kind of personality, and also of bodily frame because of the movements required)—we must therefore give some consideration to tunes and rhythms, [20] and to the question whether for educational purposes we must employ all the tunes and all the rhythms or make distinctions; and next, whether for those who are working at music for education we shall lay down the same regulation, or ought we to establish some other third one (inasmuch as we see that the factors in music are melody and rhythm, and it is important to notice what influence each of these has upon education), and whether we are to prefer music with a good melody or music with a good rhythm. Now we consider that much is well said on these matters by some of the musicians of the present day and by some of those engaged in philosophy who happen to be experienced in musical education, and we will abandon the precise discussion as to each of these matters for any who wish it to seek it from those teachers, while for the present let us lay down general principles, merely stating the outlines of the subjects. And since we accept the classification of melodies made by some philosophers, as ethical melodies, melodies of action, and passionate melodies,2 distributing the various harmonies among these classes as being in nature akin to one or the other, and as we say that music ought to be employed not for the purpose of one benefit that it confers but on account of several (for it serves the purpose both of education and of purgation—the term purgation we use for the present without explanation, but we will return to discuss the meaning that we give to it more explicitly in our treatise on poetry3—and thirdly it serves for amusement, serving to relax our tension and to give rest from it),

1 The Greek should probably be altered to give ‘reject, some instruments and professional education in performance.’

2 i.e. representative of character, of action and of emotion.

3 In Aristot. Poet. 6 tragedy is said to purge the emotion of pity and fear by giving them an outlet; the reference here is probably to the lost Second Book of Poetics.

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