Ongoing History Daily: Censorship Through the Ages

Lest you think that musical censorship is a recent thing, think again.  Certain authority figures have been trying to keep the masses from enjoying music for centuries. It’s probably good that they’re not around today.

  • In the 4th century, St. Augustine complained that the sensuous melodies of the music he heard in church caused him to “become a problem unto myself.” 
  • In the 12th century, John of Salisbury noted that the church music he heard in Paris could “more easily occasion titillation between the legs than a sense of devotion in the brain.”  These are hymns, people. 
  • A few centuries later, the head of the Orthodox Church in Moscow ordered that all musical instruments be burned because they invited paganism.        

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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