Music and the Undisciplined Mind


I’ve nearly finished the book Future Men by Douglas Wilson. It is a helpful book on raising sons, and I have really enjoyed it.

This morning I’d like to share a quote from the book, where Pastor Wilson is discussing the importance of cultivating discernment in boys and young men with regard to the type of music, movies, and art they choose to consume. In this instance, the same could be said for daughters as well:

Of course production in pop culture can frequently be quite demanding but the consumption of it rarely is. Take a series of examples in several different areas. The music of Bach is of course demanding to perform, but it also makes demands on the listener. This is why the undisciplined mind avoids such music; it invites thought, contemplation, discipline, lots of icky things. More than one rock guitarist is an impressive virtuoso, but the fingerboard display makes no real demands on the hearer, other than a willingness to be blown over. The listener to classical music is impressively engaged; the devotee of such rock music is left, with a ringing in his ears, right where he started.

P.S. – The picture at the top is Pastor Wilson, who is obviously not opposed to playing the guitar!

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