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Question

 

Dear Gramps,

I know I have asked you some questions in the past and you have always helped me. This one is a crazy one, but please give me your thoughts on it. I love music of all kinds; I love spiritual music, but sometimes being one from the fifties I love our music of the fifties. It takes me back to songs and memories of being younger. My questions is this: Is it wrong or not looked on favorably by Mormon leaders to listen to this music that we loved so much? Please don’t think I’ve lost my mind. I don’t think I have, but please give me your opinion, it means a lot to me. Thanks again,

Nancy

 

Answer

 

Dear Nancy,

As I’m sure that you will agree, and as can be implied from your letter, today’s music–if it can still be called that–has degraded to such a low level that it is really satanic in content. In many cases the words convey gross immorality, and the music itself is degrading.

The three major components of music are the melody and harmony, the rhythm or beat, and tempo; and, when included, the verbal message. One might consider the melody and harmony to be the intellectual part and the beat and tempo the emotional part of music. The melody and accompanying harmony can be appreciated by the intellect, but they do not become captivating or habit forming. The beat, on the other hand, appeals directly to the emotions and can be both intoxicating and habit-forming. Anything that subjects the intellect to the emotions, or the spirit to the body, may be considered to be evil, the purpose of life being to overcome the flesh with the spirit.

When any new musical form is introduced that takes us one step closer to the physical and away from the intellectual it may be considered unworthy of our consideration. However, as the music continues to degrade, the prior undesirable music, when viewed in comparison to that of the present, is seen in a much more acceptable light.

So I guess that what I’m saying is that it is not so much the music itself that is the culprit, but our interpretation of it. If we can appreciate the intellectual content without getting caught up in the emotion of the rhythm and beat, then I would suggest that it may not be offensive.

Gramps

 

 

 

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