The Moral Power of Music – Matthew Zachary Johnson

November 22, 20160 Comments

This episode, I invited composer and author Matthew Zachary Johnson to discuss the ‘moral power of music’.

We discuss the power that certain kinds of music have to integrate (or frustrate) certain emotional experiences in real-time.  There are some powerful tips and insights into how you can use music to your benefit that I highly recommend checking out.

“Let me write the songs of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws.” ~ Andrew Fletcher

Definitely check out his book, Emotions in Life and Music.

Some of the highlights include

  • Aesthetics, Ayn Rand and human greatness [14:30]
  • Don’t be an idiot, don’t be an asshole [19:00]
  • How music can tell you about your emotions [28:00]
  • The moral power of music (and the power of Elvis) [30:00]
  • Psychological signatures of emotions [39:30]
  • How music can help us integrate difficult, challenging emotions [52:00]
  • Redefining and understanding ‘popular’ music [1:03:00]
  • Music from the neck down, music from the waist down [1:10:00]
  • Battlefield metaphysics and heavy metal [1:20:00]
  • The ‘Catharsis-as-purging’ fallacy [1:26:00]
  • Make sure to check out the Dvorak New World Symphony as mentioned in the episode!




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