Music : The Dark Side

I’ve been reading The Rest is Noise by Alex Ross which is a rollicking history of music through the 20th century primarily from a classical point of view. It’s astonishing how music was used for propoganda. Stalin and Hitler used music in manipulative ways to further their mad totalitarianism. During the cold war the Americans and the Soviets had very deliberate agendas in what sort of music was written and propogated.

And recently I came across the book The Danger of Music by Richard Taruskin. I haven’t read it yet but the title itself is interesting.

Somehow for many years I had a very romantic view of music. It was uplifting, unifying and hope giving. I still believe does all those but the other side is very evident now. It can be manipulative, divisive and mind numbing.

And in church all these happen. Christians have enjoyed their music at times bringing people together in a joyous ocean of hope. Equally they fight a lot about it and also use it to manipulate and dull minds. I’m just not sure how to navigate through this. How do we move away from the dark side of music?

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