Without music, life would be a mistake….
Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) wrote the above in his ‘Twilight of the Idols, or how to Philosophize with a Hammer’ in 1888.
Music was important throughout Nietzsche’s life – indeed he composed a number of songs – and his friendship with, and later rejection of, Richard Wagner is famous. The very title of ‘Twilight of the Idols’ was a poke at Wagner’s ‘Götterdämmerung’. In ‘Twilight’ Nietzsche condemns the German (and most of the European) culture of his day and praises his heroes including Caesar, Napoleon, Goethe and Dostoevsky. His comment on music however comes in a sequence of epigrams that precede the main meat of the book; perhaps it may therefore be a riposte to the book proper’s first sentence:
‘In every age, the wisest have passed the identical judgement on life: it is worthless…’
Clearly, these wise guys (who specifically, in the context, include Socrates and Plato) are just too obsessed with words, and not appreciative enough of the greatest of the arts.