Sunday, September 13, 2009

Nietzsche on music

“Without music, life would be a mistake....
I would only believe in a God who knew how to dance.”

God gave us music so that we, first and foremost, will be guided upward by it. All qualities are united in music: it can lift us up, it can be capricious, it can cheer us up and delight us, nay, with its soft, melancholy tunes, it can even break the resistance of the toughest character. Its main purpose, however, is to lead our thoughts upward, so that it elevates us, even deeply moves us. ... Music also provides pleasant entertainment and saves everyone who is interested in it from boredom. All humans who despise it should be considered mindless, animal-like creatures. Ever be this most glorious gift of God my companion on my life's journey, and I can consider myself fortunate to have come to love it. Let us sing out in eternal praise to God who is offering us this beautiful enjoyment.
Nietzsche in 1858, at the age of fourteen years
"Über Musik" [On Music] (in: "Aus meinem Leben" [From my Life])

I become a better man when Bizet speaks to me, also a better musician, a better listener. Can one even still listen better?
»Ja! Ich habe sie getötet, [Yes, I have killed her]
ich – meine angebetete Carmen!« [I -- my adored Carmen!]

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