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Hanslick, Eduard (1825–1904)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-M026-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved June 13, 2024, from

Article Summary

Eduard Hanslick, a music critic for the popular Viennese press, is principally known as the author of Vom Musikalisch-Schönen (1854). This is probably the most widely read work in the aesthetics of music for both philosophers and musicians, and remains the starting point for any discussion either of the place of emotion in music, or of the doctrine usually referred to as ’musical purism’. On the former, Hanslick maintained what he calls the negative thesis, which ’first and foremost opposes the widespread view that music is supposed to represent the feelings’; on purism, he proposed the positive thesis or antithesis, ’that the beauty of a piece of music is specifically musical, that is, is inherent in the tonal relationships without reference to an extraneous, extra-musical context’.

Citing this article:
Kivy, Peter. Hanslick, Eduard (1825–1904), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-M026-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2024 Routledge.

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