Friedrich Nietzsche, The Wanderer and His Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten).

The Wanderer and his Shadow, the second supplement to Human, All Too Human, first published in 1880.


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Previous Section   167. WHERE MUSIC IS AT HOME   Next Section

Where Music is at Home.  Music reaches its high water mark only among men who have not the ability or the right to argue.  Accordingly, its chief promoters are princes, whose aim is that there should be not much criticism nor even much thought in their neighbourhood.  Next come societies which, under some pressure or other (political or religious), are forced to become habituated to silence, and so feel all the greater need of spells to charm away emotional ennui — these spells being generally eternal love making and eternal music.  Thirdly, we must reckon whole nations in which there is no "society” but all the greater number of individuals with a bent towards solitude, mystical thinking, and a reverence for all that is inexpressible; these are the genuine "musical souls”.  The Greeks, as a nation delighting in talking and argument, accordingly put up with music only as an hors d'ceuvre to those arts which really admit of discussion and dispute.  About music one can hardly even think clearly.  The Pythagoreans, who in so many respects were exceptional Greeks, are said to have been great musicians.  This was the school that invented a five years' silence, but did not invent a dialectic.  

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