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Reconstructing DamonMusic, Wisdom Teaching, and Politics in Perikles' Athens$
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Robert W. Wallace

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199685738

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199685738.001.0001

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(p.101) Conclusion
Reconstructing Damon

Robert W. Wallace

Oxford University Press

A leading fifth-century Athenian intellectual, Damon first studied the emotional, behavioural, and hence social and political effects of music and poetic metre. He also described and named various harmoniai (‘scales’), rhythms, and poetic metres, and he was a teacher and wise counsellor to Athens’ leading politicians Perikles and Nikias, paying the price for these political entanglements by being ostracized from Athens. The future reception of his ideas was mixed, the êthos theory being rejected by Plato in his last dialogue Laws. In modern times, ideas about music’s psychological, behavioural, and political consequences are again discussed, but with no sense that Damon first investigated these subjects.

Keywords:   êthos music theory, music affect theory, politics of music, sophist, Plato and music

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