Nietzsche on Music

For you / Para vosotras (Sant Jordi)
. SantiMB . / Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND

“Without music, life would be a mistake.”

“We should consider every day lost on which we have not danced at least once.”

“I would believe only in a God that knows how to dance.”

“In these dancers of Saint John and Saint Vitus we can recognize the Bacchic choruses of the Greeks, with their prehistory in Asia Minor, as far back as Babylon and the orgiastic Sacaea. Some people, either through a lack of experience or through obtuseness, turn away with pity or contempt from phenomena such as these as from ‘folk diseases’, bolstered by a sense of their own sanity; these poor creatures have no idea how blighted and ghostly this ‘sanity’ of theirs sounds when the glowing life of Dionysiac revellers thunders past them.

Now dare to be tragic men, for you will be redeemed. You shall join the Dionysiac procession from India to Greece! Gird yourselves for a hard battle, but have faith in the miracles of your god!”

“And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music.”

“Only sick music makes money today.”

“One must learn to love.— This is what happens to us in music: first one has to learn to hear a figure and melody at all, to detect and distinguish it, to isolate it and delimit it as a separate life; then it requires some exertion and good will to tolerate it in spite of its strangeness, to be patient with its appearance and expression, and kindhearted about its oddity:—finally there comes a moment when we are used to it, when we wait for it, when we sense that we should miss it if it were missing: and now it continues to compel and enchant us relentlessly until we have become its humble and enraptured lovers who desire nothing better from the world than it and only it.— But that is what happens to us not only in music: that is how we have learned to love all things that we now love.”

“In music the passions enjoy themselves.”

“At a certain place in Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, for example, he might feel that he is floating above the earth in a starry dome, with the dream of immortality in his heart; all the stars seem to glimmer around him, and the earth seems to sink ever deeper downwards.”

“My melancholy wants to rest in the hiding places and abysses of perfection: that is why I need music.”

From goodreads

2 Responses to Nietzsche on Music

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.