The Problem of Good and Evil ... Music


Music 576, Critical Theory of Music

Winter 2001, Wed 3:30-5:20 in Music 212

John Rahn (Music 108,, 543-2291)


The members of the seminar will explore the ethical, moral, and religious dimensions of the musical experience and milieu, from a wide variety of viewpoints. Questions to explore might include:

If Good is always what we want (because we lack?), do we always choose the Good, and if not, why?

Is some music Evil? Is all Evil music bad music?

What are matters of “taste” in such a context: A dietary preference, your favorite color, a sexual preference, a religious preference, a preference for a certain piece of music or musical culture or subculture or style? Are such preferences morally, ethically, or religiously neutral?

What makes music good, and what makes it Good (if anything)? from viewpoints such as Music Conservatory, Music Business, Catholic, Marxist, Fundamentalist Christian, Moslem, Hindu...


Members of the seminar will be invited to bring their own backgrounds and strengths to this discussion.