The Great Imitator

Marsilio Ficino, an Italian “renaissance” man of the Renaissance, once wrote about the effectiveness of three media: images, medicine, and music. In this three headed comparison music won out.

Ficino’s reason? Music’s mimesis is incomparable to images and medicine. In his own words, it is “the most powerful imitator of all things”. So potent is music that Ficino can only conclude that it is linked to the divine.

Couples have to have their song: a relationship is encapsulated in sound. Music brings back memories of a time in one’s life: a string quartet serves as a way to relive college memories again. Movies push to have memorable opening and theme music: The Indiana Jones theme immediately taking one on an adventure like Indie in the movies.

Music is the great imitator. It can take memories, ideas, feelings, and express them in wordless words. These words act like a reflection of the principle object.

Ficino was on to something…


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