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Esthetics of Music Paperback – 25 Feb 1982


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"...a magnificent introduction to the problems faced by aestheticians of the past and present...should be on all shelves as a standard reference." Choice

"As an introduction to the field by way of its major figures and topics, the work can hardly be bettered." MLA Notes

Book Description

Combining a historical and systematic approach, Carl Dahlhaus provides an account of developments in the aesthetics of music from the mid-eighteenth century onwards. Central themes in music are grouped together to illustrate both the historical course of events and a systematic unity of the essential elements in the aesthetics of music.

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If I should succeed in presenting to a student our art's craftsmanship as thoroughly as a carpenter can always present his, then I should be content. Read the first page
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Amazon.com: 2 reviews
Worth your time 5 Oct 2014
By B. R. Townsend - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The aesthetics of music is a complex and difficult subject and this book is a significant contribution. The last chapter in particular, on "Standards of Criticism" is probably the most useful. A lot of the book is a somewhat turgid history of aesthetics in the 18th and 19th century from a German point of view and therefore, to an English reader, reads a bit like a family dispute that you are not quite sure you want to get involved in! But thanks to Dahlhaus, perhaps the leading German musicologist in recent decades, for taking on this ungrateful task. There is a great deal of food for thought in this book, but yes, it does need to be read slowly and carefully.
1 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Esthetics of Music by Carl Dahlhaus 17 Dec 2013
By Peter F. Lesses - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I had a lot of problems reading this book. The writing style is terrible and the exposition of ideas is a bore. One of the problems is the use of big pompous, arcane words and their conjunctions with other highly technical terms. I wouldn't blame this on a respected translator like William Austin who merely rendered everything into English as carefully as possible. This book isn't something that you can just toss off even though it's only 100 pages in a thin book. You have to study it sentence at time and agonizingly decipher meanings.The whole book could have been written simpler so as to give the reader the enjoyment of thinking about concepts. I was disappointed that there were no musical examples, which makes E. of M seem dry.I was especially interested though in what he had to say about Hegel's theory dialectics in music.
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