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[1342a] [1] it is clear that we should employ all the harmonies, yet not employ them all in the same way, but use the most ethical ones for education, and the active and passionate kinds for listening to when others are performing (for any experience that occurs violently in some souls is found in all, though with different degrees of intensity—for example pity and fear, and also religious excitement; for some persons are very liable to this form of emotion, and under the influence of sacred music we see these people, when they use tunes that violently arouse the soul, being thrown into a state as if they had received medicinal treatment and taken a purge; the same experience then must come also to the compassionate and the timid and the other emotional people generally in such degree as befalls each individual of these classes, and all must undergo a purgation and a pleasant feeling of relief; and similarly also the purgative melodies afford harmless delight to people). Therefore those who go in for theatrical music must be set to compete in harmonies and melodies of this kind (and since the audience is of two classes, one freemen and educated people, and the other [20] the vulgar class composed of mechanics and laborers and other such persons, the latter sort also must be assigned competitions and shows for relaxation; and just as their souls are warped from the natural state, so those harmonies and melodies that are highly strung and irregular in coloration1 are deviations, but people of each sort receive pleasure from what is naturally suited to them, owing to which the competitors before an audience of this sort must be allowed to employ some such kind of music as this); but for education, as has been said,2 the ethical class of melodies and of harmonies must be employed. And of that nature is the Dorian mode, as we said before3; but we must also accept any other mode that those who take part in the pursuit of philosophy and in musical education may recommend to us. Socrates in the Republic4 does not do well in allowing only the Phrygian mode along with the Dorian, and that when he has rejected the flute among instruments;

1 Said to mean divergent from the regular scale in having smaller intervals.

2 1342a 2.

3 1343b 3 ff.

4 Plat. Rep. 399a

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hide References (4 total)
  • Commentary references to this page (1):
    • Sir Richard C. Jebb, Commentary on Sophocles: Antigone, 298
  • Cross-references in notes to this page (2):
  • Cross-references in notes from this page (1):
    • Plato, Republic, 399a
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