Music and Nietzsche

“Without music, life would be a mistake.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

Nietzsche was a controversial figure, particularly because of his now infamous proclamation that “God is dead” but his declaration that music makes life worth living is certainly something we can all agree upon.

Music speaks to us with the same fervor as books. Song lyrics are modern poetry.

When I use music to teach Spanish we analyze the lyrics in search of not only grammar but also meaning and impact. The exercise becomes linguistic as well as literary and my students often request an “encore.”

This type of exercise has become so successful and popular over the years that I have incorporated it into my teaching philosophy.

But let us return to Friedrich Nietzsche and his take on music. To live without music would be a “mistake” he claims. So let us consider a world without music for a moment.

An entire art form would not exist.

Humanity would have lost a means of communication.

What would accompany us as we read?

Where would we go in place of concerts?

Stories would rely on dialogue alone.

In conclusion, the silence caused by the void would be deafening.

I will return to the Death of God and some of Nietzsche’s more provocative claims in future blog posts.

In the meantime, dedicate some time to enjoying your favorite music this week.

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