Free classical music | The Power of Art

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I recently had a rather interesting conversation with a friend of mine. She is currently going through law school and has a keen interest in politics. We each also share an interest for the other’s respective fields; me for politics and she for the arts. Our conversation centered around basically the current state of affairs in the world and, regardless of which side of the political fence you sit on, the eminent disasters the world is speeding towards. My friend, unfortunately, has a rather pessimistic view of the coming decades. This is a view I don’t share with her and which I brought out in our conversation.

It is my belief that if human society is to have a brighter future, it is the arts that will create it and music will be at the center of it. Ayn Rand once said that art is the “barometer of a society,” that art exposes, not the slogans and catchphrases, but the actual philosophical premises of a society. If this is true, then it is only art that has the power to change them as well. Politics and rhetoric may shape the events of the world, but art shapes people’s minds and hearts. Rhetoric can inspire, but art lets us, for even the briefest moment, to actually experience what could be. Think of the masterpieces of classical music: Bach’s Mass in B minor, Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, or Mozart’s operas. Think of the world that had to exist to allow, first, for the creation of artists of that stature. The reason there has been no Bach, or Mozart, or Beethoven in the past century is simple: we live in a society that does not allow for the creation of that caliber of artist. Romanticism was the greatest loss of World War I. Next, think of the kind of world those works of art imply: a rational world; a world of principles; a world of benevolence, not fear; a world of promise, not suffering.

If music, as well as all the arts, have this power, then it is a force greater than any orator or any political figure. Art alone has the power to change the world. Everything else follows behind it. And, if the world is to be changed for the better, then it will take artists to lead the way. However, it is my belief that it will take the kind of artist that we have never seen in person, but have only heard about in stories. It will take a Bach, a Beethoven, a Mozart, to be the catalyst for a brighter future.

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