Music and its morals

Music refers to any form of art that is auditory; it incorporates vocal or instrumental tones that are structured in a manner that is continuous. Throughout history, music has always been surrounded by a lot of controversy regarding its moral dimensions. Music is considered to be the form of art that is most elusive and as a result, there have been numerous assertions that it has very strong connections with the moral sensibilities. Although this circumstance might suggest varying expectations and views of music and art, it can also points to other dimensions that are much deeper concerning the nature of morality and music. Considering the increased practical and academic interests about the moral values of music together with its potential in morality, people have always searched for contributions regarding the morality of music from practical and academic musicians, as well as psychologists, and philosophers. They have all provided critical reflections about music morality and it is quite evident that music has a lot of moral dimensions.

Using these various perspective, this paper discusses the morality of music and argues that music is much more than simple entertainment; it can help develop good moral through the creation of sensual desires to goodness but can also destroy morals by focusing on negative issues. The paper first highlights the ways in which music is connected to moral values in several societies. Next, it discusses music as a means of developing positive morals in young people. This is followed by a discussion of several ways in which music can be used as a tool to destroy morals, going into detail about the music industry and the morality of some current genres of music. The paper concludes with a brief summary.

The moral dimensions of music
When writing down a piece of music, most composers are interested in bringing out emotions or deep feelings about something that is taking place in the society. Through music, composers usually intend to achieve various goals such addressing various aspects of the society through the message contained in their songs. The corporation of Muzak is a great supplier of background music in movies. The background music in movies offered by Muzak is of great importance making the movie more enjoyable. This is due to the fact that businesses and public are usually saturated with aural and visual stimulation and they thus need something different such as music. The experience of music plays a vital role and a prominent one in the lives of virtually everyone. The message that is conveyed by music thus has a lot of influence to millions of people who are great music fans. Music has both negative and positive moral dimensions depending on the message it conveys to the listener. Music tastes of people appear to be powerfully attached to their personal sense of self-identity. The personal identity arising as a result of music is considered to be much stronger than that impacted by other forms of art and thus, when music touches on morality, then it becomes pretty obvious that its impact will be substantial. The music encounters seems to deepen the people’s emotional links with other people, since in most cases, the message conveyed by music is very strong and in a form that is easily understood by the audience. Therefore, the music experience that we have bears a lot of relationship with the existence of individuals as agents of morals.

Within the traditions of several communities around the world art and music has always had a lot of connection with moral values. The moral values of people are greatly influenced by the message that is conveyed by music and also the form in which the message is conveyed. For much of the history of various communities, the relationship between music, arts and morality has always been considered to be very strong. The 18th century philosophers and thinkers have always conceived very strong connections between aesthetic values, beauty and the moral values of people since both aesthetic values and beauty are greatly valued in music. In addition, the classical world does not only have powerful links between morality and virtually all forms of art, but by considering all the available art forms, music is considered to be the most powerful tool as far as morality is concerned.

In the recent past, the relationship between morality and art has been looked closely by philosophers, possibly in an attempt to answer the pervasive question of societal re-evaluation so as to provide a sound answer to the meaning of the practice and experience as a result of arts. Although musicology is in most cases seen to have a great focus on cultural and social aspects of a community, several philosophers have re-examined the notions about moral contents contained in the pictorial and literary arts. The philosophers have found out that all forms of art have a lot of influence of the moral values of people, which are both positive and negative.

Music is capable of playing both positive and negative roles in the development of moral values, it can create sensual attractions and thus play a positive role, and on the other hand, it can be destructive when it sets people on a temperamental channel, thus leading people towards various vices as opposed to virtues. Music is vital in the developmental of moral values; it is at times the education center whereby people are taught various values through music. Music does a good job in the provision of the right due for the raw passions and at the same time forming in them something really good. According to various researches that have been carried out in regard to the impact of music to one character, it has been found out that music contributes significantly to the formation of the character of a young person. On this point of view, not much has changed in terms of the moral dimensions of music since the times when the young werpice immersed in music and their character developed by it. However, this has changed over time and the music is no longer the tool that can be used in culture building since the music industry is more than poisoned and it nowadays has nothing much to offer to the cultural aspects of a community.

In today’s society, it seems that various communities have managed effectively to create a lot of attachment to most of the wrong doings. Towards this end, the role that has been played by music is quite evident. In a more precise form, teachers and parents have through default permitted the industry of entertainment to be the one carrying the responsibility of teaching morals to the children. In the music industry, both vices and virtues are found and thus the younger generation is left on their own to choose between the good and the bad components offered by music. Given that the children are still young and they do not have the capacity to select from an informed position the good and the bad effects of music, they usually select the bad side that is offered by the industry. The power of music is quite strong on almost everyone but it is much stronger on the younger generation who are more inclined to identifying themselves with popular musicians.

The people who usually criticize the morality of music usually points out the paintings, pictures, craft, poetry and stories since they are all associated with the music industry and other forms of art. They suggest that all these are accessible to the young people and thus their moral values are greatly affected. The critics of such forms of art argue that children should always be brought up in an environment that offers them grace and nobility examples from which they will form their character and thus have good morals. They believe that such environments is crucial to the children’s education since it paves a clear way for morality to develop in the young brains, thus the young people will grow up more happily and with the ability of accepting reason to always dictate their course of action. Just as it is possible to enlist senses on vice side it is also possible to have them on the side of virtue. It is via senses that a young person can become fond of wisdom and justice even before he or she completely comprehends all the perspectives of notions. All these are greatly affected by music and thus the relationship between music and morals cannot be ignored at all since they are both highly connected.

The current music industry has a lot to do with sexual relations and treats them as highly acceptable among the young people, this norm is widespread and covers various forms of music and thus feeds the minds of young people with sex ideas. In this respect, music affects the morality of the young people and since several of them have musicians as their role models then they often find themselves indulged in such behaviors. The young people spend a lot of time listening to music and they therefore have no choice but to have their morals dictated by the message they receive every now and then from music. The argument that listening to music does not in any way influence attitudes and ideas of the audience does not hold any water, since that would be similar to saying that one is not influenced by the environment he or she lives in. therefore, if the music environment of an individual is one of morality then such individuals are more likely to be influenced by music to value morals, the opposite is also true for the individuals who listen to music that is full of immorality, they are likely to be immoral too because that is what their environment offers them with.

The musical environment of an individual is his or her moral environment. Currently most of the environments provided by music are poisoned with acts of violence, sex and drug trafficking. This has greatly impacted on people especially the younger generation who are in most cases deceived by their young minds that by doing what they see in the music industry they can also become popular and rich without much struggle. Music thus can promote certain values that affect the moral values of people significantly.

When the music that one listens to is more oriented towards building strong morals, then such people are likely to be influenced by such music and act according to the message it conveys. Music as a tool is very powerful and it greatly affects its audience. Most people also have the popular musicians as their role models. Thus such people are more likely to value highly what such musicians also value. This is because they want to identify themselves with musicians who are not only popular but also very rich.

The powers of music are great and they go much further than simple entertainment. Music can play a positive task in development of morals through the creation of sensual desires to goodness. On the contrary, music can also play a very destructive task by setting the young people on the temperamental channel thus deviating them further away from morals. Music therefore, greatly affects the moral values of people since it is a very powerful tool, in fact much stronger than all other forms of art.      


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