Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Music a Remedy

Many and sundry are the means which philosophers and physicians have prescribed to exhilarate a sorrowful heart, to divert those fixed and intent cares and meditations, which in this malady so much offend; but in my judgment none so present, none so powerful, none so apposite as a cup of strong drink, mirth, music, and merry company...Many other properties Cassiodorus...reckons up of this our divine music, not only to expel the greatest griefs, but 'it doth extenuate fears and furies, appeaseth cruelty, abateth heaviness, and to such as are watchful it causeth quiet rest; it takes away spleen and hatred,' be it instrumental, vocal, with strings, wind, quae a spiritu, sine manuum dexteritate gubernetur, etc.; it cures all irksomeness and heaviness of the soul.

Robert Burton, The Anatomy of Melancholy

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