Klett-Cotta-Verlag Psychology

Was heißt musikalischer Gehalt?

Juli 2012, 16. Jahrgang, Heft 63, pp 55-69

What Is the Meaning of Musical Substance?

This essay develops the distinction between form and content in music, drawing especially on Hegel and Eduard Hanslick; it specifies and qualifies the immanentist view that music consists only of formal-aesthetically describable properties. In a second step, it formulates the nature of substance as opposed to content . Content consists of clear world-relations that the music gains through its function, its vocabulary or through texts. Substance, on the other hand, is a more abstract factor: conception, poetic ideas, thoughts. They come into being through the composer´s conscious individuation of the musical form. All decisions involved in this process concern something that is neither form nor content; we can recognize this surplus as the substance of works.

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