A Question about Music & the Soul

Cuddeback, John, Ph.D.

Deacon Sabatino,

I just listened to Dr. John Cuddeback’s wonderful lecture on music and the soul. He brought up many things which I have been pondering for some time now. Coming from a Cuban family I have been very concerned as to whether salsa music or the more traditional Cuban “son” music with their African influenced beats are intrinsically disordered. Any comments or suggestions as to where I can find some thoughtful answers?


Joshua Hernandez


I am not familiar enough with Cuban music to give a definitive answer.  However, remember that there is a distinction between disordered music and music that is ordered for a particular purpose.  Often times, the problem we face with traditional cultures and modern music is not a problem of disorder but a misuse of the particular musical genres in a setting in which it cultivates passions that have no business being cultivated in that setting.  For example, music of courtship is not itself disordered but rather is ordered to a particular end, namely, the sacred union of man and wife.  Another example is one that Dr. Cuddeback used in his talk, war music.  Music designed to bring man into battle is not disorder but rather ordered to the purpose of war.  If this music is used while we drive, we should not be surprised by the phenomenon of road rage. When making a judgement on particular musical pieces, always ask what the purpose of the music is and whether the setting is appropriate to move man in this way.

Rev. Deacon Sabatino Carnazzo

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