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The word catharsis is derived from the Greek word κάθαρσις (katharsis), which means “purgation” or “purification,” and its origin is most often attributed to Aristotle from two of his books, in Politics written in 350 BCE and later in Poetics. In Politics, Aristotle described the effects of music on its listeners and noted that music may serve as a form of relaxation and enjoyment and that musical melodies may excite the soul of some people into a mystical frenzy. Furthermore, he stated that music may arouse feelings of action, passion, pity, or fear. According to Aristotle, listeners may subsequently find a sense of healing and purgation, and thus, “souls [are] lightened and delighted” (Book 8, Part VII). Aristotle also noted that he would deal with ...

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