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Proposition that music unites people overlooks that it also divides

A long held cliché that music unites people fails to point out that it can also divide people.

A world leading philosopher largely based at Rogues Wine Bar in Guildford stroked her long grey beard and explained, 'Given that music is a form of expressive art, people can attach their own meaning to whatever a songwriter intends.

'But let us extrapolate this further. If I suggested to you the preposterous notion that there were some kind of European music competition where people subjectively suggested that one piece of music from one country was "better" than a piece from another country, then we can use this hypothetical scenario do demonstrate the futility of attaching socioeconomic value to art.

'One could imagine a ridiculous scenario, for example, where one country's music was banned from the competition, not on its merits as music in itself, but on the basis that one brutally aggressive leader of the country was so objectionable, that all of the people from that country should be penalised for his obnoxious behaviour.

'Yet, a nation at war with that country might be allowed to compete under the false premise that the event is apolitical.

'If one then imagines that two other completely different nations at war were separated on the premise that one was globally recognised as a country, but their long standing enemy was not, then one could become acutely aware that music was unarguably dividing people. And that would be regardless of the content of music from either nation. Lyrics could be as nonsensical as, say, "Boom Bang-a-Bang" and yet people would be arguing over it for years after it should have been forgotten about.

'Now consider that some nations from outside of Europe geographically were allowed to participate, and yet others from inside Europe were prevented from doing so, and one would have the underlying scenario of music not merely dividing people, but ideal conditions created such that global conflict would be inevitable.

'One might accept that music can unite people, but that could be in physically bringing two divided groups together, one suggesting that a single piece of music is most agreeable, while the other maintains it is utter filth parped from the wrong end of Aristotle.

'And don't even get me started on the ludicrous proposition that sport unites people.'

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1 Comment

May 13

Very true.. All 'nationalistic' music is intended to incite hate or superiority. Rule Britannia being a prime example. And our National Anthem.

'Send him victorious,'

'Scatter our enemies,

And make them fall!

Confound their politics,

Frustrate their knavish tricks,'

Then La Marseillaise?

How about 'O’er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?

And the rocket’s red glare, the bombs bursting in air,'

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