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The Emotional Power of MusicMultidisciplinary perspectives on musical arousal, expression, and social control$
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Tom Cochrane, Bernardino Fantini, and Klaus R. Scherer

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199654888

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654888.001.0001

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Music as a means of social control

Music as a means of social control

some examples of practice and theory in early modern Europe

Chapter:
(p.307) Chapter 22Music as a means of social control
Source:
The Emotional Power of Music
Author(s):

Penelope Gouk

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199654888.003.0022

In the early modern period (sixteenth to eighteenth centuries) the power of music to alter inner states was conducted in the language of the ‘passions’ rather than the emotions. In this paper I explore the extent to which early modern Europeans considered music as a vehicle for achieving social transformation through control of the passions. Typically for the period, Plato and Aristotle’s writings on music were a starting-point for discussion. I consider the attempts under the French king Charles IX (1550-1574) to ban certain types of music and also to promote a distinctively French form of ‘measured music’. A belief in the civilising effects of music is similarly found in the writings of Dr John Gregory (1724-1773), a Scottish physician and amateur musician who regarded music as a powerful vehicle for self-improvement and social integration.

Keywords:   Passions, early modern Europe, effects of music, Charles IX, John Gregory, social control, self-improvement, Plato, Aristotle

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