Adorno and Hanslick on the aesthetic autonomy of music


  • Mário Videira University of São Paulo, Brazil



Theodor Adorno and Eduard Hanslick, Vom musikalisch‐Schönen, aesthetic autonomy of music


In the winter term 1932/33, Theodor Adorno conducted at Frankfurt University a seminar on Hanslick’s essay Vom musikalisch‐Schönen. In an article published some years later, Adorno emphasized the importance of this book, for it fixed the moment of immanent logic of musical composition against the authors that defended programmatic music. In fact, one of the main goals of Hanslick’s essay is to discuss the establishment of a musical work autonomy. According to him, the beautiful in music is something specifically musical, consisting simply and solely of tones and their artistic combination. Despite direct references to Hanslick’s ideas in Adorno’s texts are somewhat rare and scattered, the resonances of the former in the thinking of the latter should be not underestimated. The purpose of this paper is to investigate to what extent Hanslick’s ideas about the aesthetic autonomy of music might have influenced Adorno’s concept of musical material as well as his approach to musical analysis.


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How to Cite

Videira, Mário. 2017. “Adorno and Hanslick on the Aesthetic Autonomy of Music”. Per Musi, no. 35 (January).



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