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Ficino on Song

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

ficino.jpegI came across a beautiful if slightly knotty quote yesterday in Thomas Forrest Kelly's book about classical music world premieres that changed the course of music history, First Nights.

This is the Fifteenth Century Florentine humanist, Marsilio Ficino, on the power of song:

"Remember that song is the most powerful imitator of all things. For it imitates the intentions and affectations of the soul, and speech, and also reproduces bodily gestures, human movements and moral characters, and imitates and acts everything so powerfully that it immediately provokes both the singer and hearer to imitate and perform the same things."

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