Pianist Pope Reflects on Power of Music

Says It Invites the Mind and Heart to God

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 18, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI says music is a language suited to fostering understanding and union between persons and peoples, and can even become the language for talking with God.

The Pope reflected on the role and power of music Saturday when he attended in the Vatican a piano concert held in his honor.

During the event, Chinese pianist Jin Ju performed music by a variety of composers on pianos from seven different epochs.

“This concert has […] permitted us to taste the beauty of music, a spiritual and therefore universal language, a vehicle so importantly suited to understanding and union between persons and peoples,” the Holy Father said in giving words of thanks at the end. 

“Music is a part of all cultures and, we might say, accompanies every human experience, from pain to pleasure, from hatred to love, from sadness to joy, from death to life,” he continued. “We see how, over the course of the centuries and millennia, music has always been used to give a form to that which we are not able to speak in words, because it awakens emotions that are difficult to communicate otherwise. 

“So it is not by chance that every civilization has placed such importance and value on music in its various forms and expressions.”

The Pontiff also reflected on the “vertical” dimension of music — its power to bring the spirit toward God.

“Music,” he said, “great music, gives the spirit repose, awakens profound sentiments and almost naturally invites us to lift up our mind and heart to God in every situation, whether joyous or sad, of human existence. Music can become prayer.”

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text of the Holy Father’s address: www.zenit.org/article-27254?l=english

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