Purpose of the arts

The influence of music

Conductor Leopold writes:

There are millions who find solace in music – it opens for them the sun-bathed gates of inspiration – through music they know that behind the sordid, grim surface of life there nevertheless exists an ideal and external Beauty.

Music powerfully stimulates the growth in us of impulses we had never suspected – longings that otherwise life dormant – visions that now become clear.  Sometimes it seems that the rays of the sun and the magnetic vibration of music both come from the same source.  These powerful vibrations are flowing out with the music into the hearts of us all – inspiring us – consoling us – increasing the longing already in our hearts for Beauty – Love – the Ideal – just as in spring the sun’s rays draw up the growth of leaves and flowers and fruits.

The influence of music on individuals – communities  – nations – is so powerful that it would be well for governments to have a department of all the arts, including music, which would study these physical and psychological influences. They are the food of the mind and soul.  They can influence the morale of a nation so that in times of stress everyone is able to meet the emergency.  Parts of the service and equipment of this art department would be at least one state-supported opera house, symphony orchestra, national drama theater, and ballet – because these institutions are part of cultural and educational life, just as are libraries, schools, universities.

Every community soul have –
1. A recreational center – partly open air
2. A civic auditorium.

If possible, these should be in the same place.

Leopold Stokowski, American conductor of Polish origin.

Cited in: Stokowski, Leopold (1943) Music For All Of Us.  New York City: Simon and Schuster, p. 307-308.