Is bad music the root of all evil?

Well its been a whole 9 days since I last posted, I’ve been in a bit of a funk to say the least. I’m soon to be unemployed, globalisation has taken my job to eastern Europe where someone can be paid half as much as me to do it.

So anyway I’ve had a very long weekend, I even managed to go clubbing in a different city. We went to a soul-funk club, and the dancing was exceedingly fun and surprisingly wholesome.  I have thus formed a theory, that a lot of society’s woes are caused by listening to terrible music.

Its not even the lyrics that are the problem, I enjoy listening to the blues which are filled with sordid lyrics of but then blues singers never try to pass their lyrics off as moral, and there is the added obvious point that they probably wouldn’t be singing the blues if they hadn’t been living sinfully, in other words, while the blues singer is often a self confessed abject sinner there is still hope for his ethics.

Modern music however has totally immoral lyrics but positively voices them and divulges them in an utterly banal way. I guess its the battle between morals and ethics as carried out in the musical world and its a battle the devil seems to have got cornered at the moment. Is it the crappy pop/dance music that people listen to, with the monotonous beats, synthesized vocals and endless repetition  that turns people into criminals and lunatics?

Well I think it might be, Why? because their idea of a good time is quite simply hellish, and I think its the musics fault more than the booze. Oh that and most of them have the moral formation of Fagin. (I’m talking about the film because I can’t stand reading Dickens)

The guy in the flat below me has been playing this rubbish since 8am this morning and has been playing it all weekend judging by the howl of rage from the irate woman  from the flat above me. He’s also a drug dealer, so I rest my case.

What’s interesting is that at first he says if the music is too loud we should come down and tell him (when he does this he’s softly spoken and polite), but when we do come and tell him he never does, or he will for a few minutes then one of his fellow junkies will turn it back on again. Then again he is off his face on crack so I guess its not surprising. I guess its tragic in a way, and it reminds me of another theory I have, that inside every person there is a good Catholic just dying to come out.

And finally I guess my point is that the Church needs to better promote its rich musical heritage, its chant and its mass settings are perhaps far more important than people give credit for.  Endlessly producing 1970’s banalities at mass has a detrimental effect on Church attendance (the last 40 years have had all sorts of problems in the Church but the music has been dire).  The new translation of the mass coming in September is a glorious opportunity for the English speaking world to put some of those dire ‘worship songs’ out to pasture.

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4 thoughts on “Is bad music the root of all evil?

  1. How does one quantify how ‘bad’ or indeed ‘evil’ something is, and how can one know to what extent music plays a part in this? It is well known that many people thought the works of Beethoven and Mozart were somehow evil. What makes it evil really? Is it evil to have one’s senses stimulated by anything other than what one experiences in Mass?

    Music is a business, be blatant, be noticed, shock people and hey suddenly the press are talking, you get publicity and therefore more airtime. Blame capitalism perhaps.

    Oh and as you know, I sympathise with you in regards to your noisy neighbour. But playing loud music at 8am? Now that is evil.

    • I was talking about aesthetics, and Beethoven and Mozart win in that category…

      Its about the banality of evil I guess… the thing that seems to unite most modern pop/dance music is that it is so mind numbingly dull… yet people love it.

      Its why people will end up going to hell, because they have been sold ideas by the devil which are beneath their dignity as human beings, but they accept it because they have learned to settle for less.

      I’m not making a case based upon irrefutable logic… its a question of taste I guess.

  2. I see what you mean. A part of me wonders though, you say they have learned to settle for less, this is sad because I think many people are not taught to aspire. This is a key issue I think.

  3. I go to a traditional FSSP parish and my priest said that all this music is bad and that I should not listen to anything beyond Baroque. I took his advice a laid off the guitar for several months. I am beginning to rethink this in terms of drinking or sports. Having a beer now and then is o.k. in my book (not at 8:00 am or at Mass). Shouting can be appropriate in a baseball game but not at Mass. Why can’t a good country song and blues song be bad as long as the lyrics don’t glorify fornication or drunkenness?

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