The Ethical Values of the Music Art of the Ancient Greeks: A Semiotic Essay

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The Ethical Values of the Music Art of the Ancient Greeks: A Semiotic Essay

ABSTRACT: Humanity requires for its satisfaction Beauty and Good, that is, love, wisdom, and courage. Put differently, the necessity of order, equilibrium, and harmony. These values ground one of the most elevated planes of the spiritual life: music. Its moral force in the education of the mind, soul, and behavior of the human person has been emphasized by the ancient Greek philosophers. This important message exists as a pattern crossing the centuries. I will try to reveal the unity ¡¥ethics¡¦/ethike - ¡¥music¡¦/melos by using the semiotic organon.

Suggested by the very remarkable interest taken in the music in the works of the ancient Greek philosophers, our attempt¡Xa semiotic attempt¡Xwould succeed in getting us closer to the meaning of what is called "the ethos of music" in the civilization of ancient Greeks.

The model of semiosis allows us the investigation of the ¡¥sign¡¦: music, in its structure, in its act and its functionality which means communication and signification. Thus we can identify ¡¥the music-sign¡¦ through the expression of the sense¡Xthe sense that "is conceived as an evidence, as the feeling of comprehension, in a very natural way" (1)¡Xand through the significance. Thus, our guidance implies ¡¥sign¡¦, ¡¥expression¡¦, ¡¥signification¡¦¡Xthe triad that brings together the coordinates of semiosis; defined, it, by Charles S.Peirce through the cooperation of the sign, its object and its interpretant (2) and by U.Eco: "the process through which the empirical individuals communicate and the processes of communication become possible thanks to the systems of significance" (3). This semiosis is put in evidence by different semio...

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...f. Th.Reinach, La musique grecque, Payot, Paris, 1926; C.Sachs, The Rise of Music in the Ancient World, W.W.Norton & Comp. Inc. New York, 1969.

(11) Platon, Gorgias, in Opere, vol. I, Ed. Stiintifica si enciclopedica, Bucuresti, 1975.

(12) Th.Reinach, op. cit., p. 158.

(13) Aristotel, Politica, Ed. Cultura Nationala, Bucuresti, 1924, p. 201.

(14) W.Fleming, Arte si idei, Ed.Meridiane, Bucuresti, 1983, vol. I, p. 104.

(15) C.Popescu, in vol. II, Partea 2, Filosofia greaca pina la Platon, Ed.Stiintifica si enciclopedica, Bucuresti, 1979, p. 778.

(16) Platon, Republica, in Opere, vol.V, Ed.Stiintifica si enciclopedica, Bucuresti, 1986, p. 190.

(17) Diogenes Laertios, Despre vietile si doctrinele filosofilor, Ed.Academiei Romane, Bucuresti, 1963.

(18) Ch.Morris, Signs, Language and Behaviour, New York, Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1946, p. 118.

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