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How Bach Will Save Your Soul: The Hidden Source of Music’s Supreme Power

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"Music opens a path into the realm of silence.”
 
How Bach Will Save Your Soul: German Philosopher Josef Pieper on the Hidden Source of Music’s Supreme Power
 
"Some of humanity’s greatest and most fertile minds — including Oliver Sacks, Walt Whitman, Virginia Woolf, Kurt Vonnegut, Susan Sontag, Aldous Huxley, and Friedrich Nietzsche — have contemplated the power of music, and yet the question of why music moves us so remains unanswered, and perhaps unanswerable. Why is it that music can permeate our deepest memories, help us grieve, and save our lives?
 
Four years after his increasingly timely case for shedding the culture-crushing shackles of workaholism, the German philosopher Josef Pieper (May 4, 1904–November 6, 1997) explored the abiding puzzlement of music’s power in a speech delivered during intermission at a Bach concert in 1952, later published under the title 'Thoughts About Music' in his small, enormous posthumous essay collection Only the Lover Sings: Art and Contemplation — a set of reflections titled after Augustine’s beautiful assertion that 'only he who loves can sing' (which Van Gogh echoed in his insistence that art and love are one), exploring what Pieper argues is the 'hidden root' of the richness of all music, fine art, and poetry: contemplation."   Read the article here.
 
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The saving of the soul takes some pondering...  However, I truly believe that the greats of the renaissance, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and others, had something unique - perhaps divine, well beyond my ability to imagine.  The prolific perfection in their composing, in relatively shorter average life-spans of the time, created enduring artistic works that certainly sooth and heal the soul in that pondering - and which have survived the ages in great performances by diverse musicians across the globe for centuries.
 
Thanks, for the great read, David.
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