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Eduard Hanslick and the polemics against feelings in music

Música Hodie
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  • Design
  • Musicology
  • Philosophy


This paper approaches Eduard Hanslick’s polemics against feelings in music. Hanslick’s musical formalism can be considered as a reaction against the so called aesthetics of the effect and the conception of music as expression of feelings. Against these theories, Hanslick tries to establish an autonomy of music not in its effect upon the subject, but in the object of art itself. He does not accept the conception which considers that the aim of music is the arising of feelings, nor the one that considers the feelings as the content represented by music in its works. According to him, the beautiful in music must hold in itself its significance and the effect of music upon feelings cannot be considered as the aesthetic principle of music. Keywords: Hanslick; feelings; aesthetics.

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