September 19, 2023
The Secret History of Rock

The Case Against Music

I’m going to read you a quote.  The sentiments probably sound familiar. 

Forms and rhythms in music are never altered without producing changes in the entire fabric of society…It is here that we must be so careful, since these new forms creep in imperceptibly in the form of a seemingly harmless diversion.  But little by little, this mischief becomes more and more familiar and spreads into our manners and pursuits.  Then, with gathering force, it invades men’s dealings with on another and goes on to attack the laws and the constitution with reckless impudence until it ends by overthrowing the whole structure of public and private life!” 

Sounds like your typical anti-rock’n’roll crusader, right?  Actually, those words were written in 375 BC by the philosopher Plato. 

In other words, the crusade to censor the music of the young has been going on a little longer than most people realize.

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.

Alan Cross has 37072 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

2 thoughts on “The Case Against Music

  • Been enjoying rummaging through your blog, then I found this…

    Now… I'm all for musicians freely expressing the societies in which they live…. but to take this Plato quote and say that 'He' was censoring music that was played to youth is unfair in my book.

    Plato and his contemporaries were literally laying the groundwork for music to become the global phenomenon that it has made Rock what it is. The Greek idea of Ethos was wide held, and tied into religion and really about the creation of music as we know it, (how to define whole steps, half steps, phrasing, rhythms, scales etc.) and not censoring 'bad' music to youth.

    That quote seems out of context, and not relaying the beauty that it could about musicians of old creating the tools that every rock musician uses today wether knowing it or not.

  • Pingback: A cry for help from a reformed music snob (Part 2 of 2) - Hind News 365

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