Friday, September 16, 2016

Adam Smith on Music and Dance

Courtesy of Colwyn Trevarthen:

After the pleasures which arise from gratification of the bodily appetites, there seems to be none more natural to man than Music and Dancing. In the progress of art and improvement they are, perhaps, the first and earliest pleasures of his own invention; for those which arise from the gratification of the bodily appetites cannot be said to be his own invention.
Adam Smith ([1777] 1982: 187)

Time and measure are to instrumental Music what order and method are to discourse; they break it into proper parts and divisions, by which we are enabled both to remember better what has gone before, and frequently to forsee somewhat of what is to come after: we frequently forsee the return of a period which we know must correspond to another which we remember to have gone before; and according to the saying of an ancient philosopher and musician, the enjoyment of Music arises partly from memory and partly from foresight.
Adam Smith ([1777] 1982: 204)

Smith, A. ([1777] 1982). Of the Nature of that Imitation which takes place in what are called the Imitative Arts. In W. P. D. Wightman & J. C. Bryce (eds.) with Dugald Stewart’s account of Adam Smith (ed. I. S. Ross), D. D. Raphael & A. S. Skinner (General eds.), Essays on Philosophical Subjects (pp. 176–213). Indianapolis: Liberty Fund.

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