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The Imaginary Museum of Musical WorksAn Essay in the Philosophy of Music$
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Lydia Goehr

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198235415

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198235410.001.0001

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Musical Meaning: From Antiquity to the Enlightenment

Musical Meaning: From Antiquity to the Enlightenment

(p.120) 5 Musical Meaning: From Antiquity to the Enlightenment
The Imaginary Museum of Musical Works

Lydia Goehr (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The central claim is supported by tracing the concept of so‐called ‘serious’ music. Since 1800, so‐called serious or classical music has been packaged in terms of works. Several general transitions are described to demonstrate the emergence of an effectively imaginary museum of musical works: (1) The move from extra‐musical to purely musical criteria of value and classification; (2) The emancipation of the music language from its dependence on poetic and religious texts; (3) The rise of so‐called purely instrumental music or absolute music; (4) The articulation of the concepts of fine art and the autonomous work of art and the inclusion of music under these categories.

Keywords:   absolute music, emancipation, emancipation, extra‐musical, imitation, mimesis, purely musical, serious music

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