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Music: Cologne (Castle Wahn), December 11–12, 2018

The first philosophical considerations on music are collocated in political, social and formative contexts. In Plato the most significant discussions of music are to be found in the Republic (e.g. III, 398-399) and in the Laws (e.g. VII, 812d or VIII, 800e). For Plato, as for Damon, the propagator of the ethos theory, music is first and foremost a matter of paideia, and thus—through the moral impact of the musical nomoi—it is fundamental for civic education. In Aristotle, as well, major considerations on music are not to be found in his Poetics, but, most eloquently, in his Politics. Even in the pre-reflexive era of Greek thought, music was represented as a civilizing power (e.g. in the myth of Orpheus), just as “bad music” was considered able to spoil characters and seduce into misconduct. Music as an object of aesthetic contemplation is a late invention of the modern era; and yet the political line of reflection regains its importance in the newest philosophy of music (for instance, in the thought of Roger Scruton). Music in Mann’s opus magnum, the novel Doktor Faustus becomes a mirror for the political processes leading Germany to the apocalypse of the second world war; similarly, Wagner’s (actual and fictional) music is being entwined in the literary tissue of Paweł Huelle’s recent novel Śpiewaj ogrody as a vehicle of the sociopolitical catastrophe of the thirties, leading to violence and extermination. Students from both universities will experience how the transgression of the academic disciplines allows to perceive music as an element that forms a personality and influences the society. A special study group will be dedicated to the history of private musical salons in Belgrade, their role in the society of Belgrade and their present position in the Belgrade intelligentsia. At least five students from Belgrade will be hosted by students in Cologne.