Keep to a Doric air

Turn from dangerous music …

close one’s ears to songs which corrupt the mind. For passions which are the offspring of servility and baseness are produced by this kind of music.

An old call …

drunkenness and softness and indolence are utterly unbecoming … which are the soft or drinking harmonies? The Ionian, he replied, and the Lydian; they are termed ‘relaxed.’ … These then, I said, must be banished … but I want to have one warlike … and another … (for) seeking to persuade God by prayer … And these, he replied, are the Dorian and Phrygian harmonies

Remember the first Philosopher …

tradition has it that when Pythagoras happened upon some drunken revelers, he commanded the flute-player, who led the merry-making, to change the tune and to play a Doric air, and that the chant so sobered them that they threw down their wreaths, and shamefacedly returned home. Others at the sound of the flute rave like Corybantes and Bacchantes.

Indeed his instruction began with music …

Pythagoras conceived that the first attention that should be given to men should be addressed to the senses, as when one perceives beautiful figures and forms, or hears beautiful rhythms and melodies. Consequently he laid down that the first erudition was that which subsists through music’s melodies and rhythms, and from these he obtained remedies of human manners and passions, and restored the pristine harmony of the faculties of the soul. … for his disciples he arranged and adjusted what might be called apparatus and massage, divinely contriving mingling of certain diatonic, chromatic and enharmonic melodies through which he easily switched and circulated the passions of the soul in a contrary direction, whenever they had accumulated recently, irrationally or clandestinely such as sorrow, rage, pity, over-emulation, fear, manifold desires, angers, appetites, pride, collapses, or spasms. Each of those he corrected by the use of virtue, attempering them through appropriate melodies, as if through some salutary medicine.

So stay from this most dangerous of things …

Even so great a difference does it make whether one lends his ear to healthy or to vicious music. Therefore you ought to have still less to do with the music of such influence than with other infamous things.

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