Aristotle on the Power of Music in Tragedy

TitleAristotle on the Power of Music in Tragedy
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsDestrée, P
Ancient AuthorsAristoteles et Corpus Aristotelicum Phil. (TLG 0086)
JournalGreek and Roman Musical Studies

Against the almost undisputed communis opinio among interpreters of the Poetics, I argue that spectacle in general, and music in particular are of crucial importance in Aristotle’s conception of tragedy. In enhancing the spectators’ emotions of pity and fear, music (i.e. aulos music) contributes to obtaining the pleasure ‘proper’ to tragedy which, as Aristotle says, “comes from pity and fear through mimesis”. [