Absolute Music: The History of an Idea by Mark Evan Bonds

By Mark Evan Bonds

what's tune, and why does it circulation us? From Pythagoras to the current, writers have struggled to isolate the essence of "pure" or "absolute" track in ways in which additionally account for its profound impact. In Absolute track: The heritage of an idea, Mark Evan Bonds strains the historical past of those efforts throughout greater than millennia, paying exact consciousness to the connection among music's essence and its traits of shape, expression, attractiveness, autonomy, in addition to its perceived ability to reveal philosophical truths.

The center of this booklet specializes in the interval among 1850 and 1945. even if the belief of natural tune is as previous as antiquity, the time period "absolute tune" is itself quite fresh. It used to be Richard Wagner who coined the time period, in 1846, and he used it as a pejorative in his efforts to reveal the constraints of only instrumental song. For Wagner, tune that was once "absolute" was once remoted, indifferent from the realm, sterile. His modern, the Viennese critic Eduard Hanslick, embraced this caliber of isolation as a guarantor of purity. in simple terms natural, absolute tune, he argued, may possibly detect the top capability of the art.

Bonds unearths how and why perceptions of absolute tune replaced so notably among the 1850s and Nineteen Twenties. while it first seemed, "absolute track" was once a brand new time period utilized to previous song, yet by way of the early many years of the 20 th century, it had become-paradoxically--an previous time period linked to the recent tune of modernists like Schoenberg and Stravinsky. Bonds argues that the main advancements during this shift lay now not in discourse approximately track yet really the visible arts. The transforming into status of abstraction and shape in portray on the flip of the 20th century-line and colour, rather than object-helped circulation the assumption of simply summary, absolute tune to the leading edge of musical modernism.

By rigorously tracing the evolution of absolute tune from old Greece in the course of the center a long time to the twentieth-century, Bonds not just offers the 1st complete background of this pivotal proposal but additionally provokes new techniques at the essence of song and the way essence has been used to provide an explanation for music's influence. an extended awaited ebook from essentially the most revered senior students within the box, Absolute song may be crucial analyzing for somebody attracted to the heritage, thought, and aesthetics of music.

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