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Original scientific paper

Plato and Plotinus on Music

Marko Tokić orcid id ; Sveučilište u Zagrebu, Filozofski fakultet

Full text: croatian pdf 406 Kb

page 193-202

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Full text: english pdf 406 Kb

page 193-202

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Both Plato and Plotinus think that music composed by audible sound establishes the musicality of the soul. That kind of music is comprised of rhythm and harmony by which soul announces the beauty of the intelligible in itself. The beauty of the intelligible is not contrary to the beauty of the sensible. Through sound imitation of the idea of beauty, music nourishes the recollection of the soul and makes it possible for humans to turn away from things which do not manifestly display beauty and thus achieve a truthful way of life. Music is therefore indisputably established as ennobling. But the fact is that it can also turn into the opposite. Plato and Plotinus both equate musical sound with enchantment. Noble enchantment formed from musical sound is set up as counter­incantation aimed at absolving the soul of the ugly and evil life which is a consequence of the seduction of musical sound


musicality; rhythm; harmony; music; enchantment; art; nature

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Article data in other languages: croatian

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