Sir Roger Scruton

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In the first of five essay's responding to the BBC's TV series Civilisations, Sir Roger Scruton explores the notion that music might be a civilising force. His response draws on his own boyhood experiences of Classical Music as well as the nuanced thoughts and conclusions of Plato. He also tackles the uneasy relationship between history's less savoury music enthusiasts, Stalin and Hitler, and the lack of any civilising impact it had on them. There are no pat answers to these serious and challenging questions, but Sir Roger's conclusions rely for the most part on his responses to music and the potential he sees in it alongside religion, morality and love in any encounter with darker forces.

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