Interacting with the Platonic Forms of Music
By Charles Lincoln
There is this magical sense of listening to high-quality music with good headphones and paying attention to the music. If you close your eyes and listen to the music. It is incredible and beautiful. There is just something that is so unique about it in such a profound way. We really interact with the Platonic forms. Often we don’t get the chance to interact with the Platonic Forms in Plato’s theory of metaphysical philosophy. But music is one of the Forms that we interact with on a common basis.
Think about all the time and thought that went into each note and word and how each word is enunciated. Allan Bloom writes that modern rock music takes over the erotic part of the soul rather than allowing us to pursue the passionate part. But how many people really pay attention to music? How many of us pay attention to the words, the chord, the bass guitar, the high tune? Many of us — including myself — are distracted and we don’t listen to the beauty of music.
As the Duke Orsino sang in William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night:
If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! it had a dying fall:
O, it came o’er my ear like the sweet south,
That breathes upon a bank of violets,
Stealing and giving odour! Enough; no more:’
Tis not so sweet now as it was before.
O spirit of love! how quick and fresh art thou,
That, notwithstanding thy capacity
Receiveth as the sea, nought enters there,
Of what validity and pitch soe’er,
But falls into abatement and low price,
Even in a minute: so full of shapes is fancy
That it alone is high fantastical.
© Charles Edward Andrew Lincoln IV