This book deals with German music philosophy. This chapter explores German writing on music before Immanuel Kant to provide an impression of the work of the intellectual precursors of the philosophers examined. An introductory explanation of the most important thematic strands in musicology after Kant is reported. Additionally, it reports the thematic context for the work of the philosophers who follow. Finally, there is a brief discussion of the significance of the concept of a “musical work.” Romantic music philosophy emphasized or conjured up the vocal music of the sixteenth century as a lost realm of purity. The work concept was important for any reflection on music. It is clear that the musical work attained dominance only at the beginning of the nineteenth century; today it is still of central significance. However, the work concept was subjected to a radical critique in the twentieth century.
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