Nietzsche & music

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Nietzsche & music

Post by AntoF » June 5th, 2019, 9:04 am

Hello everyone,

I am new to the forum and definitely I cannot consider myself someone who understands anything about philosophy, so here I am asking you, who have much more knowledge than me.

As you can see from the subject, I am trying to find a connection between Nietzsche and music, in particular an author or a composition that well suits his ideas. Something that reflects his ideology as much as possible.

If my post it's in the wrong section I do apologize for that.


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Re: Nietzsche & music

Post by Sculptor1 » June 7th, 2019, 4:45 pm


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Re: Nietzsche & music

Post by Felix » June 7th, 2019, 9:38 pm

Sculpter1 wins this Jeopardy round: Who Is? - Richard Wagner

As I recall, Colin Wilson explored Nietzche's attitude towards music in his book, 'The Outsider', you may want to read it.
"We do not see things as they are; we see things as we are." - Anaïs Nin

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Re: Nietzsche & music

Post by Hereandnow » June 8th, 2019, 10:45 am

Read Birth of Tragedy and Julian Young's Nietzsche's Philosophy of Art. You can't see where Nietzsche is coming from without understanding Schopenhauer, at least for basic ideas.

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Re: Nietzsche & music

Post by pianola » June 11th, 2019, 3:04 pm

AntoF wrote:(...) Something that reflects his ideology as much as possible.
i don't think nietzsche had a specific ideology, as he would say , ideologies are linguistic constructs based and built on empirical ignorance, and their sole function is to give rise to a crude, political will that will eventually decay and perish.. but art for nietzsche was definitely a finer, more refined way of "affirming" the existence of the individual. nietzsche despised metaphysical pessimism and concluded that life itself should be seen as a form of art. all in all he put forth what he thought was the ideal blend : science (wissenschaft) [as it's deconstructive by nature, it would be used a mental shield against tradition, nationalism, religion, herd morality, etc.] , and art (kunst) [as a process of innovation and discovery], in order to establish the honest, affirmative, fulfilling life.

music, was of course the highest form of art for nietzsche.
nietzsche wrote:Given that a man loved the plastic arts or music as much as he was moved by the spirit of science, and that he deemed it impossible to end this contradiction by destroying the one and completely unleashing the other power; then, the only thing remaining to him is to make such a large edifice of culture out of himself that both powers can live there, even if at different ends of it; between them are sheltered conciliatory central powers, with the dominating strength to settle, if need be, any quarrels that break out.
nietzsche wrote:Language can never adequately render the cosmic symbolism of music, because music stands in symbolic relation to the primordial contradiction and primordial pain in the heart of the primal unity, and therefore symbolizes a sphere which is beyond and prior to all phenomena. Rather, all phenomena, compared with it, are merely symbols: hence language, as the organ and symbol of phenomena, can never by any means disclose the innermost heart of music; language, in its attempt to imitate it, can only be in superficial contact with music; while all the eloquence of lyric poetry cannot bring the deepest significance of the latter one step nearer to us.

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Re: Nietzsche & music

Post by Jklint » June 11th, 2019, 11:44 pm

If you can get your hands on the Tristan Chord by Bryan Magee subtitled Wagner & Philosophy there's a long appendix regarding specifically Nietzsche's relationship to Wagner and his music without having to read a whole book. Wagner, in Nietzsche's psyche, was a permanent guest no matter how much he tried to consciously expunge him. Even in moments when his mind was gone he could still recognize a picture of Wagner and on one occasion said "him I loved much".

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Re: Nietzsche & music

Post by Le Vautre » June 22nd, 2019, 12:50 pm

Surprisingly, nobody here mentioned Bizet.
Nietzsche, The Case of Wagner, wrote:Yesterday I heard—would you believe it?—Bizet's masterpiece, for the twentieth time. Again I stayed there with tender devotion, again I did not run away. This triumph over my impatience surprises me. How such a work makes one perfect! One becomes a "masterpiece" oneself.— And really, every time I heard Carmen I seemed to myself more of a philosopher, a better philosopher, than I generally consider myself: so patient do I become, so happy, so Indian, so settled ... To sit five hours: the first stage of holiness!— May I say that the tone of Bizet's orchestra is almost the only one I can still endure? That other orchestral tone which is now fashion, the Wagnerian, brutal, artificial, and "innocent" at the same time and thus it speaks all at once to the three senses of the modern soul,—how detrimental to me is this Wagnerian orchestral tone! I call it scirocco. I break out into a disagreeable sweat. My good weather is gone.

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