On the Power of Music: Using Cosmos and Anthropos to Articulate a Holistic Approach to Discussing the Power of Music

Type of Submission

Podium Presentation

Campus Venue

Dixon Ministry Center, Room 101


Cedarville, OH

Start Date

4-10-2013 3:00 PM

End Date

4-10-2013 3:30 PM



Music is an experience that is universal to all of mankind, no matter one's race, gender, culture, or socioeconomic status. Whether it's beholding one of Mahler's symphonies in Carnegie Hall or listening to the "No. 1 Top Single" on iTunes using headphones, one truth is evident: music moves. The statement "music moves" inherently possesses an implication of the 'cosmic' and the 'anthropic' nature of music- a dualistic union of both mystery and humanity. This one truth has been the subject of an ongoing 2,000-year-old discussion that attempts to articulate the powerful reaction that results from experiencing music in all forms, beginning with the ancient Greeks who possessed a cosmologically grounded explanation to the power of music. However, as time moved forward, this cosmological, mysterious paradigm of the power of music slowly began to incorporate explainable anthropological articulations of the power of the music with respect to the human emotions, senses, and thoughts. This incorporation of 'anthropos' reached a climax in the Renaissance era with the ushering in of humanism, which stripped away the mysterious and replaced the cosmologically grounded explanation of music with the anthropologically grounded view of naturalism. Since this profound departure from the 'cosmos', society seems to be at a loss in articulating accurate reactions to music. This paper offers two proposals with respect to musical thought, one for society at large and one for the individual. I assert in this paper that society, in general, needs to return to an appreciation of the 'cosmos', the answerable, and the mysterious in nature, and that the individual needs to commence thinking holistically with respect to music incorporating both 'cosmic' and 'anthropic' thought. I have reached my conclusions, assertions, and propositions based on this thesis by critically analyzing both primary and secondary resources in the form of the historical documentation methodology.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.


Apr 10th, 3:00 PM Apr 10th, 3:30 PM

On the Power of Music: Using Cosmos and Anthropos to Articulate a Holistic Approach to Discussing the Power of Music

Cedarville, OH