J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, and the Cosmic Music of the Beginnings: The Inklings expressed interest in ancient mythologies that described the creation of the world through music. (Robert Lazu Kmita, February 6, 2024, European Conservative)
However, the theological theory about music that is most similar to Tolkien’s vision presented in The Silmarillion (in “Ainulindalë,” “The Music of the Ainur”) is that of the extraordinary medieval saint and prophetess, St. Hildegard of Bingen (c. 1098-1179). As Barbara Newman has shown in her introduction to the critical edition of the musical work Symphonia armonie celestium revelatione (Symphony of the Harmony of Celestial Revelations), Hildegard asserts that God is the creator of music, while “the ultimate unmusical spirit was the devil.”
In one of her letters, Hildegard claims that, before committing the Original Sin, Adam’s voice had exceptional musical qualities: “In his voice was the sweetness of every harmonic sound, and of the whole art of music.” Upon hearing the music sung by Adam, the devil, terrified and filled with envy, recalls the beauty of God’s celestial hymns that he had heard before the fall. What follows, we know from the biblical text. From Hildegard’s vision, we learn about music of divine origin and about the fallen angel, who, unable to bear it, wanted to replace the divine harmony with his own musical creation.
The music of the Inklings
The closest of friends, Tolkien and Lewis, showed in some of their literary writings a special preference for a kind of doctrine about the creation of the world that can be named the ‘musical cosmogony.’ This might be a fitting and proper name for those ancient mythologies, including some mentioned above, that describe the creation of the whole world through music.
Beauty is objective