In his master piece “The Renaissance of India” Aurobindo points out in nineteenth century had three aspects.In the first place it aimed at a recovery of the old spiritual gospel contained in the sacred book of the country.In the third generation, it brought about the economic modernization of India and ultimately the political emancipation.
In some extreme cases, when listeners are abnormally sensitive, music can be the cause of serious troubles. Mac Donald Hastings, who in his study on “Musicogenic Epilepsy” mentions twenty cases, eleven of them his own patients, in which epileptic fits were brought on by music. Such contrasts can be variously appraised from the aesthetic point of view, but they certainly cannot be approved from the medical standpoint.
Also the excessive amount of music at long concerts, showered upon the listeners, can cause nervous fatigue and psychological indigestion.
They have contributed to the cultivation of that languid and morbid sentimentality which afflicted the young women of the romantic period of the last century.
Another type of music apt to be injurious consists of those musical compositions which, while representing interesting experiments in new forms of musical expression, reflect, with their frequent dissonances, their lack of form, their irregular and frenzied rhythms, the modern mind in its condition of stress and strain.
The reformers saw change not as a slow adaptive process, but as a positive value in itself.
The religious reformers made it a point to extend the principle of individual liberty to the sphere of religion.Many modern dances, particularly jazz, combine overstimulation with the disintegrating influence of their syncopated rhythms.Howard Hanson, in his very good essay, exposes in a drastic way the widespread injurious influence of jazz.To the musical pieces of this kind, among those having artistic value, belong the Venusberg scene in Wagner’s , from the Dance of the Seven Veils to the end, is an instance of such fascinations; it dazzles, seduces, repels and conveys just that hothouse beauty of evil, the lurid, livid fungus growing on the dunghill.” (p.71)A second group of musical pieces of a harmful kind consists of those that are very melancholy and depressing, as they express languor and weariness, grief and distress, agony and despair.The entire religious structure had to seriously face the test of rationality.The assertion of human dignity and conscience became the gospel of the awakening.Perhaps they have developed an immunity to its effect but if they have not, and if the mass production of this aural drug is not curtailed, we may find ourselves a nation of neurotics which even the skill of the psychiatrist may be hard pressed to cure.It seems, therefore, only poetic justice that musical therapeutics should develop at least to the point where music may serve as an antidote for itself.”Music, even when it is not directly stimulating the passions nor inducing depression and discordance, can be harmful owing solely to the fact that it arouses and nourishes an excessive state of emotion which, when it is not transmuted into constructive activity, weakens the character.There is “bad” music (from the standpoint of art) which is harmless, and on the other hand there is music by some of the best composers which can be definitely harmful.It is not a paradox to state that music of a harmful character; the more expressive it is aesthetically the more dangerous it can be.