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Related: abstract - music - art music - avant-garde music - experimental music - sound art - twelve-tone music
Semantically compare: concrete music
Absolute music, less often abstract music, is a term used to describe music that is not explicitly "about" anything, non-representational or non-objective. Absolute music has no words and no references to stories or images or any other kind of extramusical idea. It is also known in classical contexts as abstract music and is in contrast to program music. The view of absolute music as music "for its own sake" derives from Kant's aesthetic disinterestedness from his Critique of Aesthetic Judgment (Ashby 2004, p.7).
Carl Dahlhaus describes absolute music as music without a "concept, object, and purpose."
Perhaps the most famous piece of absolute music is Mozart's 40th symphony. The piece has no title, as neither does any of its movements (numbers and playing instructions aside), and it was not written to commemorate or mark any particular occasion. It is purely a piece of music for its own sake. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Absolute_music [Jul 2006]
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