The Glastonbury music festival took place recently. It's named after Glastonbury even though the site is about 6 miles away from the town. Presumably this gives it some kind of mystical cachet and admittedly it does sound better than Pilton, the original name in 1970. The festival has become extremely popular since then and is now celebrated as something that shows modern Britain in one of its best lights. Music, joy, love, peace, what could be better?
It is well known that the dark forces try to corrupt sacred sites by co-opting the spiritual power to be found there and using it for their own ends. Firstly, because there is power in these places, but secondly, so that its spiritual effect is nullified and negated. Glastonbury has been a particularly unhappy victim of this tendency and the festival is currently one of the main tools the devil employs to this end.
I'm not going to try to justify this what many would call extreme, if not mad, statement. If you don't already see that contemporary pop, rock and related forms of music are almost entirely negative from a spiritual point of view (though some, such as rap, are a good deal worse than others), there's nothing I could say that would convince you. I might mention that this music stimulates lower, primitive elements in our psychological make-up, especially by its use of beat but also through electrification and volume. I might point to the separation of crude physical sex from love, never mind marriage, it promotes. And I might mention the effect that it has on its audience which reverts to a kind of mindless mob mentality in which the individual is swallowed up by the crowd, just the reverse of what should take place in a true spiritual experience of which this is clearly a parody and distortion (see love and peace above). I might mention these things but they should be obvious. I'm not saying all this music is bad. I still like some from when I was young myself, but a great deal is and it's getting worse with the artistic elements diminished and all the negative aspects augmented.
I believe there is a strong case to be made that the corruption of music has played a big part in the corruption of the human soul and its separation from higher things over the last fifty years or so. When jazz first came in a hundred years ago it was regarded by many people as a very decadent musical form and things have certainly moved on since then. Plato thought that the introduction of new forms of music would have an effect on society, and while I don't think this plays out quite as simplistically as sometimes envisaged with decadent music causing decadence in society, there clearly is a link. Music has a definite effect on the human psyche even if it can only bring out or stimulate what is already there in some form. You are not made a good or bad person by music but you can be helped to rise or fall and so, in the broader sense, can a whole culture or civilisation.
Popular music has a relation to freedom, physically, emotionally and mentally. Freedom is regarded as a universal good but it depends what is being freed and what it is being freed to do. Is the sexual instinct being freed to be expressed in any way it likes, are the emotions being freed from judicious control so that lower instincts run riot and the higher impulses are blocked from coming through, is thought being freed to enfeeble itself in pointless speculation and chase after illusion, is the self being freed to pursue its own ends at the expense of submitting to the soul? Ultimately the only true freedom is to be found in God but for that freedom to be known many lower, apparent freedoms must be renounced. Much that comes under the umbrella of pop music does offer freedom of a sort, freedom to the lower self in its various guises, but if the listener is not careful it can chain him to forces in that same self it appears to liberate. Higher realities are completely obscured.
Music is one of the most powerful forces known to us but it can be used for good or ill. At the moment, we are in the strange position of having access to a vast amount of music, music of all styles and all periods, but contemporary popular music, that which is listened to by the majority of people, is the most spiritually harmful music there has ever been.