Monthly Archives: February 2017

Classical music and humanism

Classical music is often considered as an art form which embodies humanistic and ethic ideals, and is supposed to inspire moral awareness in its listeners. This aspirational vision of serious music is one of the results of the Enlightenment as it developed at the end of the 18th century, when in aesthetic theory ‘the artist’ became an ‘independent entity’ and no longer a mere craftsman in the service of church, court and nobility. This vision formed an important strand in 19th culture, where it had to struggle with the reactions the Enlightenment’s¬† sometimes dry rationalism provoked, inadvertedly stimulating romanticism with its vague but profound ¬†emotional urges, so strongly disqualified by Goethe.