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    A lot of music nowadays are really strange. I would say that black metal is really too much for me although some death metal is ok. Some people even call it satanic music but I'm no expert. I would also have to say that what you hear on the radio is mostly poo

  • #2
    Well, I've never heard a Biblical scholar talk much about music, but St. Augustine talks a lot about literature (near the beginning of "Confessions" for instance). He vented for a good couple of pages about how the "Aeneid" is a bad piece of literature, even though he was deeply enamored of it in his youth, because he felt so much sadness for Dido who killed herself once deprived of her love, while feeling no sadness for the fact that he himself was deprived of the relationship he needed with God. "Confessions" is a really good (overly moralizing, perhaps) read, by the way, if you have a few hours to spare.
    This comparison might only work for church music, but I am a church musician so it's good enough for now. In my opinion, highly emotional music is only suitable for the church if the emotions are directed towards God. I would hesitate to program a Chopin Ballade for a church event, for instance, yet I'd be perfectly fine with programming Bach's St. Matthew's Passion, which is an even more emotional work at times. The emotion is not bad in and of itself, but it really depends on where the emotion is directed. Conservatism is always safe, but being passionate involves a fine line to worry about.
    As far as non-church music, the lines ought to be much less clear. It would be really prudish to condemn Chopin for being overly sentimental, because it is so beautiful and honest, even though it was easier to condemn its use in the church. But satanic rock music? I despise it, but is it devoid of value? And how exactly would it harm the passive listener, as opposed to the person in deep contact with it? I don't listen to enough of that stuff to know. Perhaps it's a matter of quality more so than style; no one complains about Berlioz using the "Dies Irae" tune in the witches' round dance, but isn't that kind of usage just as bad as the dark satanic uses of plainchant you cite? You never hear anything about Berlioz being sacrilegious, but dark satanic plainchant is somehow always "evil". It's a really troubling question.
    As for me, I'm practicing a Trio Sonata. Not because it is virtuous, evil or questionable, but because it is high quality music that makes me happy. It's also quite tricky...
    As of 7/16/2013, no longer active on forum.
    Practice hard, practice well.


    • #3
      I would say it is all between your ears. What you make of it. I do not subscribe to the notion that music could be bad for me. Unless played to loud it can degrade your hearing. It can be of bad taste, unharmonic, kitch, soothing, moving, beautifull, plain, and a host of other things. It can have an influence on your mood. But it can't be bad for you.


      • #4
        Music that is OK is a matter of personal taste. Rather than listen to what music to avoid, I would suggest avoiding people who insist that their music is the only good music. Avoid people who tell you that certain types of music are sinful. Avoid people with closed minds. Enjoy music.
        When I become dictator, those who preach intolerance will not be tolerated.


        • #5
          Was the priest talking about just music, or lyrics too? And in what context did this conversation arise? What did he mean that it is bad for you? Just curious.

          I play music as a hobby (several instruments) and I write both lyrics and music for my band. But another part of me just hates music in general - including the stuff I write too so it is not an ego thing. Figure that one out - I can't!
          Jimmy Williams
          Hobbyist (organist/technician)
          Gulbransen Model D with Leslie 204


          • #6
            My favourite rock track is Chronic Ring Sting by Malevolence. Top drumming and raw throaty lyrics. Pure class.

            Best wishes,


            • #7
              For me, the function of music is to invoke a mood, generally one congruent with the meaning of the words (if there are any). I avoid any music for which the mood generated is highly agitated or angry because I believe those moods are detrimental to my mental well-being. I do not allow myself to be angry, and I try to avoid lyrics that are hateful. From what I have observed, most "heavy metal" and whatever has come around since then is loud, angry, and hateful. So I avoid it. I do NOT like to be shouted at.