Eduard Hanslick’s Text and its Contexts: A Brief Overview of Research Perspectives
 “It is probably not too much of an exaggeration to say that the terms of this inquiry in modern times were set by Eduard Hanslick’s polemical On the Musically Beautiful, published in 1854.” The ‘inquiry’ in this quotation is the nature of musical meaning or, more broadly speaking, Western philosophy of music in general. There is no doubt about Hanslick’s role and importance in the history of musical aesthetics. His rather smallish 1854 publication is generally regarded as “one of the most important (or to some, infamous) treatises on the nature and value of music ever written.” In a recent article, Lee Rothfarb describes the appearance of Vom Musikalisch-Schönen (“On the Musically Beautiful”; Leipzig: Weigel, 1854) as “a watershed moment in the history of music aesthetics”—a verdict shared by Peter Kivy, who declares VMS to be “the inaugural text in the founding of musical formalism as a position in the philosophy of art.” This strong awareness of Hanslick’s significance is widespread particularly in Anglo-American scholarship, where Hanslick’s ideas continue to serve as a starting point for aesthetic theorizing, even beyond the boundaries of philosophical and musicological discourse. David Huron, in a fairly recent entry in the Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology, once again stresses the continued relevance of Hanslick’s aesthetic approach: “Until recently, Hanslick’s views have defined the principal parameters in debates concerning musical aesthetics. All major philosophers in the aesthetics of music have started by engaging with Hanslick’s ideas.”
In light of Hanslick’s importance and the longevity of the debate, however, there is a surprising number of gaps in scholarship, with Hanslick’s intellectual context(s)—his rather unclear place in the history of ideas, also by far the most researched topic in the history of Hanslick scholarship—perhaps being the most perplexing. As with any other topic in the history of ideas, it comes as no surprise that Hanslick’s aesthetics is subject to trends and shifting perspectives as well. After one and a half centuries of sometimes rather intense research, however, the lack of convergence concerning the philosophical foundations of Hanslick’s thought is striking. Research on the intellectual background of VMS exhibits a surprisingly broad range of possible theoretical frameworks, with no stable consensus developing over the years. During the past century of debate, Hanslick’s aesthetics was seen as founded in German idealism as well as in anti-idealist philosophy, as a document of early positivism as well as a proto-phenomenological approach directed against positivist reductionism, as a plea for the scientification of aesthetics along the lines of natural science as well as for a more hermeneutical understanding of music that opposes such a scientification, as an expression of ‘formalism’ as well as of spiritual values transcending a purely formalist perspective, as based on a classicist as well as a romanticist outlook, as an expression of a reactionary, ‘bourgeois’ approach as well as an approach sympathetic to musical progress. Even just the introductory remarks of VMS have provoked interpretations of Hanslick pleading for an “alignment of aesthetics with natural science” (“Forderung, die Ästhetik an den Naturwissenschaften auszurichten”) and of Hanslick “distancing himself from the methods of natural science” (“der sich ... von der naturwissenschaftlichen Methode distanziert”). It is certainly difficult to classify Hanslick’s ideas in the context of Western aesthetic traditions, despite various efforts to uncover a consistent philosophical framework in which his aesthetic approach can be embedded and that then serves as a key to its understanding. Though the scope of scholarship on the intellectual background of Hanslick’s aesthetics has widened considerably in the past forty years, Rudolf Schäfke’s observation of “perplexing and apparently irreconcilable contradictions, historically as well as factually” (“verwirrende und scheinbar unvereinbare sachliche und historische Gegensätze”) is almost as appropriate today as in 1934.
In terms of Hanslick’s general philosophical outlook, a view of his aesthetics as being mainly rooted in Kant (1724–1804) currently prevails especially in Anglo-American scholarship (see part 2). Early research, however, largely focused on Hanslick’s relation to Johann Friedrich Herbart (1776–1841) and Herbartian aesthetics. Herbartianism was in fact so common as a focal point of scholarly discussion that Felix Printz, in his 1918 dissertation, considered Hanslick’s alignment with the Herbartian school a matter of general consensus. Given the substantial disagreement between Herbart’s ‘realism’ and Kant’s transcendental methodology, the two approaches are difficult to reconcile. Theoretical links with Kant, on the other hand, were overshadowed by Hanslick’s attribution to the Herbart school to a degree that Schäfke regarded Franz Marschner’s (1855–1932) remarks on possible Kantian roots of VMS as an almost dissident opinion. With Herbartianism losing its significance in the early twentieth century, its former dominance slowly turned into neglect. By 1992, the Herbart debate had lost prominence to an extent that Christoph Khittl could correctly observe that Herbart was “consistently excluded from the secondary literature” (“konsequent aus der Sekundärliteratur ausgegrenzt”).
During the twentieth century, Hanslick scholarship, conducted primarily in the German speaking world, was largely focused on issues of intellectual affiliations and carried out from a predominantly historical perspective. After World War II, different trends developed in the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic. While in the GDR Hanslick’s aesthetics was soon heavily contextualized—though in a single-sided and schematic way—along the lines of Marxist ideology, Western German scholarship, most notably the work of Carl Dahlhaus, remained largely based on a rather traditional concept of intellectual history that placed Hanslick’s ideas within the general context of German intellectual history. As a result, contextual factors such as the specific philosophical background of contemporary Austria, its complex interplay with political and institutional factors, and the role of the peculiar multi-ethnic situation of the Habsburg Empire did not develop into an established topic of Hanslick scholarship for a long time. It was only recently that Hanslick’s actual intellectual background, that is his roots in the Habsburg Empire and its intellectual and cultural situation in the early 1850s, was taken into systematic account. In a way, one could even consider it ironic that the decontextualized approach that Hanslick offered (cf. VMS, 92, 108; OMB, 39, 48) was itself detached from its extra-aesthetic (cultural, political, sociological) contexts for most of the history of the academic debate.
 In the last couple of years, interest in Hanslick has increased considerably, with the focus of academic work done in the field shifting more to the Anglo-American world, thereby inducing an opening-up of new perspectives. Against the background of the more traditional contributions that focused on the history of ideas, typical of 1970s and 1980s scholarship, a lot more interest is now given to contextual factors beyond the field of mere intellectual history. Rather than assigning Hanslick a place in the history of (aesthetic) ideas, the newest contributions to the field are more concerned with Hanslick’s role in the cultural and intellectual life of post-1848 Austria in a broader sense. Considerable interest is given to Viennese liberalism and its cultural, intellectual, and political context. Recent research discusses issues of culture and identity in multi-ethnic Austria, similarly focusing on Hanslick’s Jewish heritage and the tricky topic of ‘Germanness’ and nation. In a pioneering article, Anthony Pryer drew attention to the role that Hanslick’s legal background education might have played in his formulating some of the central methodological claims of VMS.
Understanding VMS as a Fusion of Philosophical Orientations and as a Dynamic Text: Two Current Challenges of Hanslick Scholarship
A relatively new topic of Hanslick scholarship is the way in which Hanslick’s treatise emerged and developed out of pre-published articles and ideas expressed before 1854 (see part 5). Little is known about the formation of Hanslick’s ideas prior to the publication of the first edition of VMS and the role the specific political situation of the Habsburg Empire played in Hanslick’s “volte-face,” which eventually led to the distinctively formal approach of 1854, though a prominent role of such political factors is generally recognized. The fact that Hanslick pre-published individual chapters (or rather, articles on which these chapters were based) did not receive much attention in scholarship. It was not until the late 1970s that these pre-publications were identified by Norbert Tschulik, even though the fact that VMS is partly based on such pre-publications was already reported in Robert Zimmermann’s (1824–98) review of 1854. Even less is known about how the process of the composition of VMS extends beyond the pre-published articles. Only Dietmar Strauß has systematically investigated the extent to which ideas that Hanslick later expressed in VMS are already present in Hanslick’s writings before 1854 and how some of his views were shaped by positions held by his friend Zimmermann. Hanslick’s early aesthetics of music is a curious mix, with some positions pointing towards ideas later expressed in VMS and others contradicting his 1854 and post-1854 aesthetic convictions.
The relevance of this developmental dimension of Hanslick’s text, however, extends well beyond the pre-history of VMS and is crucial for our understanding of Hanslick’s philosophical outlook and the very text itself. Hanslick not only composed his text out of pre-fabricated units that later became chapters 4 to 6, he also altered and adapted larger portions of the first edition of VMS, with the new beginning and the new ending of the second edition of 1858 being the most significant and perplexing. The ‘deleted ending’ of the first edition of VMS is an issue vividly debated in the most recent scholarship, mainly thanks to Mark Evan Bonds’s discussion of the topic and an academic debate following his 2014 monograph Absolute Music. Hanslick’s decision to ‘amputate’ the final paragraph and its romantic-idealist declaration, first with the deletion of the main body of the paragraph in the second edition of 1858 and finally—and even more rigorously—with the additional excision of a remaining passage and the permanent relegation of the whole paragraph in the third edition of 1865, indicates a somehow unstable constitution of the text, even in some of its central passages. In an earlier essay on the topic, Bonds considered the deleted ending the “ringing culmination of Hanslickʼs entire treatise.” While Bonds’s claim about the centrality of the final passage is disputable, his observation points to an important developmental dimension of the text that also challenges traditional views about ‘the’ aesthetics of Eduard Hanslick, as expressed in VMS. Rather than viewing his treatise as a monolithic, uniform text, we should regard Hanslick’s treatise as a dynamic text, with its developmental dimension constitutional for determining Hanslick’s aesthetics of music.
The developmental dimension of the text adds to and complicates the older challenge of identifying a consistent philosophical basis of VMS. To put it simply, traditional scholarship always dealt with ‘the’ treatise and ‘the’ philosophical underpinning of Hanslick’s aesthetic ideas, both viewed in a static manner. However, if both the text and its philosophical basis are unstable and shift over time, though for different reasons, we need a new and more flexible approach to the study of text and contexts and their relations with each other. The situation is further complicated by the fact that the philosophical context of Hanslick’s treatise is itself dependent on various non-philosophical or even non-intellectual factors that also have a developmental dimension—a developmental dimension that informs the changing constitution of the text and forms the basis for Hanslick’s choice of philosophical frameworks and perspectives. In the following, we will analyze the relation of VMS and its various contexts and sketch the kind of approach that we believe Hanslick scholarship should adopt.
Hanslick’s Philosophical Background: Critical Survey and Methodological Conclusions
If we wish to trace the philosophical influences upon Hanslick, we must from this point proceed with caution …. Of course there are interesting comparisons to be made between specific passages in Hanslick, and specific passages in the writings of Kant, but we have neither internal nor collateral evidence upon which to make a positive claim for an influence from the one to the other, except perhaps indirectly by way of C.F. Michaelis. Schopenhauer is not mentioned in Hanslick’s book by name; there are two apparent allusions to him, both trivial. Hegel is named, quoted and alluded to, not on trivial matters, but there is no argument in Hanslick, no point of doctrine, to which we can confidently point and declare that it is of Hegelian origin. Several likely candidates have been proposed …; much work remains to be done in this area. (OMB, xv–xvi).
 Though written in 1986, Payzant’s observation of a general need for academic work on Hanslick’s philosophical background is still valid today. Hanslick’s position in the history of ideas is indeed “tricky,” as Payzant remarks (OMB, xv). Big names have shown up in the debate, yet there is a lack of studies that give an in-depth analysis of VMS’s supposed dependency on the aesthetic concepts of the philosophers and theorists in question.
Surprisingly, the need for analysis is particularly pressing with respect to the bigger names with the longest history of academic discussion. It was only very recently that Hanslick’s relation to Friedrich Theodor Vischer (1807–87)—an aesthetician that Hanslick held in high regard throughout his life—was examined by Barbara Titus in a rather exhaustive study on the topic. Vischer’s substantial influence on Hanslick was well known from the very start of the debate. He is mentioned (and quoted) throughout the text, and Hanslick sent him the first edition of VMS. Hanslick’s accompanying letter states: “Every page of my writing will tell how much I owe you with respect to learning.” Titus’s article clearly demonstrates how the historicist element that is also present in Hanslick’s treatise (VMS, 86; OMB, 35) was shaped by Vischer’s late-idealistic treatment of the ‘material’ aspect of art. Hanslick’s analysis of the role of feeling, however, constitutes a major divide between Hanslick’s and Vischer’s aesthetic approach. Titus’s work also suggests that Hegel is less important as a source of theoretical inspiration for Hanslick. A similar study for Hegel, however, is still missing, despite Hegel’s prominence in the debate on the philosophical foundations of VMS.
The lack of studies on Hanslick’s relation to Kant is particularly startling. Today, Kant is by far the most discussed candidate for providing the philosophical basis of VMS. The issue is often presented as if the privileged role of Kantian aesthetics for VMS were a matter beyond doubt. Yet the ‘caution’ that Payzant advised seems particularly suited when those arguments in VMS are taken into account that run counter to the Kantian program of a ‘subjectivization’ of aesthetics. Central to Hanslick’s methodology is the evidently non-Kantian claim that “the primary object of aesthetical investigation is the beautiful object, not the perceiving subject.” What is missing here is a comprehensive analysis of both Kantian and anti-Kantian elements in VMS. Also in this context, we believe that more attention should be given to philosophers like Herbart or Bernard Bolzano (1781–1848), who distanced themselves from German idealism while retaining some elements of Kantian philosophy, most notably in the field of aesthetics. In a book-length contribution, Christoph Landerer established general theoretical connections between VMS and the philosophy of Bernard Bolzano. However, further research has to be conducted regarding Bolzano’s influence on Hanslick’s aesthetics.
Herbart, the most prominent figure in nineteenth-century discussions on the philosophical foundations of VMS, is similarly under-researched. Only Ines Grimm, Khittl, and, more recently, Bonds have given a reasonably detailed account of parallels and possible areas of influence. Given Herbart’s role in post-1848 Austria, with Herbartianism even considered a “quasi-official state philosophy” (“quasi offizielle Staatsphilosophie”) up to about 1880, the lack of studies is again surprising. While Bonds, Grimm, and Khittl were able to point at a number of similarities in the aesthetic approaches of Herbart and Hanslick, important questions remain. Herbart’s—and particularly Zimmermann’s—static, ahistorical conception of beautiful ‘relations’ (see part 4) and Hanslick’s more historically open conception of form are difficult to reconcile. Herbart’s importance for Hanslick’s cognitive theory of emotion has gone virtually unnoticed, though Herbart is the founding father of a psychological tradition that extends up to modern-day analytical discussion.
Though certainly less prominent, Hanslick’s relation to Arthur Schopenhauer (1788–1860) is similarly under-researched. Literature on the topic is scarce, as Katherine Hirt has recently observed: “There has been very little scholarship on the connection between Schopenhauer and Hanslick, other than Lydia Goehr’s study that uses both writers to explain the tradition out of which Adorno writes.” Alexander Wilfing—though never asserting that Hanslick was familiar with Schopenhauer’s philosophy prior to the first edition of VMS—demonstrated how links can be established between the dynamic aspects of Schopenhauer’s treatment of feelings and Hanslick’s cognitive approach. Other aspects of Schopenhauer’s philosophy, however, limit his possible role as a philosophical basis of VMS, particularly in consideration of Hanslick’s argument against the possibility of ‘abstract feelings’ (VMS, 46; OMB, 11). This remark should be read as directed against Schopenhauer, probably as part of a broader debate around 1850 that Klaus-Christian Köhnke characterized as a situation of “Herbart or Schopenhauer.” More work needs to be done on how Hanslick’s critical examination of feelings and their role in aesthetics relates to both Schopenhauer and Herbart.
If there is one single important outcome of research into the intellectual background of Hanslick’s aesthetics, it might be that there is no consistent philosophical basis for VMS. We thus need to understand how different, rather heterogeneous philosophical discourses are intertwined in the treatise. Hanslick’s textual techniques are at times close to a collage, as in a central paragraph that he added in the second edition in the heavily reworked first chapter. The passage reads: “Beauty is and remains beauty even if no feelings are aroused and even if it be neither perceived nor thought; [hence only for the delight of a perceiving subject, yet not caused by it]” (OMB, 3). A closer analysis of this quotation reveals that Hanslick took the first sentence from Zimmermann’s review of VMS, which includes a passage that is worded virtually identically. It might have a textual basis in Bolzano, Zimmermann’s teacher in Prague, who makes a comparable objectivistic statement: “The beautiful would remain beautiful and the ugly would remain ugly even if there existed only one human being in the entire world, or no one at all.” The first part of the second sentence, however, has a textual basis in Vischer, who proclaims in a similar manner: “Beauty is … essentially appearance, and thus [exists] for a perceiving subject.” Apparently, Hanslick’s goal was to adopt Zimmermann’s claim while retaining a central argument of Vischer’s aesthetics. Therefore, as Hartmut Grimm has noticed, Hanslick was reluctant to accept Zimmermann’s remark that “beauty is based on constant relationships.” Obviously, Hanslick did not support Zimmermann’s claim of timeless beauty, founded in persistent relations. Instead, he continued with the (unquoted) reference to Vischer, already present in the first edition. It is this fusion of different—at times even contradictory—currents of philosophical thought that forms the basis of Hanslick’s aesthetics. His originality thus lies in how elements of heterogeneous philosophical frameworks are combined and form the background of his arguments. This rather eclectic textual strategy, however, also allowed Hanslick to stay clear of orthodox schools. While Zimmermann’s or Vischer’s aesthetics are largely forgotten today, Hanslick is still read and remains relevant.
 Understanding the philosophical basis of VMS as a fusion of diverse and heterogeneous elements of theoretical frameworks has consequences for how research into the philosophical foundations of Hanslick’s aesthetics should be conducted. In recent years, a trend has developed of seeing Hanslick either in connection with his German idealist or his Austrian Herbartian-Bolzanist background. Vischer, for example, is not mentioned in an earlier article by Bonds and only mentioned once by Karnes or in Landerer’s article on Hanslick’s methodology. Mark Burford, on the other hand, makes no reference to either Herbart or Bolzano, though Herbartianism could link materialism and German idealism in a way that is closely related to what Burford regards as a theoretical “middle ground.” Lee Rothfarb gives an elaborated account of Herbart’s aesthetic approach but mentions only Kant and Hegel as a philosophical basis of VMS. What is thus missing is a more comprehensive approach that integrates the different and diverse frameworks that form the philosophical basis of VMS. To be sure, an approach that develops along these lines not only has to analyze how these frameworks operate within the text; it also needs to be aware of their embedment in non-philosophical discourses and sociological-political factors that shaped Hanslick’s choice of specific theories and concepts.
Politics, Institutions, Ideology: The Theoretical Framework and its Practical Embedding
The philosophical framework that the text exhibits does not exist in a vacuum but is tied to the intellectual and cultural conditions of Hanslick’s time and place, that is, of post-1848 Austria. In recent years, this Austrian background of Hanslick’s aesthetics has received considerable attention. Recent scholarship points at Hanslick’s role as a civil servant in the Ministry of Education, where he is assigned a post in early 1854, just months before the completion of VMS. It is here that Hanslick comes into close contact with minister Thun’s main agenda: the reorganization of Austria’s schooling system.
Soon after 1848—as we have mentioned above—Herbartianism advances to become a semi-official Austrian ‘state philosophy,’ and Hanslick is expected to contribute to the “Herbartization” of the nascent discipline of musicology. The main document that links Hanslick’s aesthetics to the political-ideological background of the Thun reform is Hanslick’s habilitation petition, where he distances himself from metaphysics and declares to be closest to Herbart’s philosophy. As Karnes remarks, “Hanslick … knew that his proposal would not be approved if it did not appear to be a natural fit with the broader plans of Exner and Thun-Hohenstein.” However, to fully understand how Hanslick’s not particularly wholehearted Herbartian conviction and his confessed distance from metaphysics relate to his aesthetics, we need to draw a bigger and, in a way, more complex picture of the different discourses that are present in VMS. In the following, we will sketch the main lines of a case study that we hope current scholarship will expand, enrich with historical and empirical data, and challenge critically. We show how the philosophical framework that underpins the main arguments of VMS can be embedded in a framework of political, institutional, and biographical factors and how an analysis of such factors can contribute to our understanding of the treatise and its place in the history of ideas.
Like many young intellectuals of the ‘Vormärz’ era, Hanslick had sympathies not only for the revolution but also for what Austrian authorities considered its philosophical basis: German idealism. He changed his positions considerably in the years before 1854, sometimes even turning them into opposites. Shocked by the execution of fellow music critic Alfred Julius Becher in 1848 (see note 28), Hanslick also distances himself from Hegelianism, while still retaining some of the idealist elements that are present in Vischer’s aesthetics.
The rationale of the Thun agenda is the key to understanding the institutional and political context in which Hanslick’s aesthetic ideas are embedded. As early as the late eighteenth century, Austrian authorities dismissed metaphysics, then seen as the core of Kantian philosophy and its revolutionary readings, and promoted the study of physical and mathematical disciplines. It was, however, not until the Thun reform that these ideas were fully implemented in the grand scheme of a reorganization of the Austrian educational system. As part of the Thun agenda, the organizational framework of Austrian high schools was completely reworked, with a new and prominent, though restricted, role for philosophy. Philosophy was now integrated into the high school curriculum and Zimmermann commissioned to write the first schoolbooks for philosophical propaedeutics. The philosophical content taught in these courses, however, was strictly state-regulated. ‘Philosophy’ at Austrian schools comprised only two subjects, ‘formal logic’ and ‘empirical psychology.’ In this respect, Rudolf von Eitelberger (1817–85), founding father of the Vienna School of Art History and an advisor to Thun, stressed once again in a 1854 address to the minister the role Herbartianism could play, as it “nowhere came in conflict with established confessions or political systems” and was a perfect philosophical vehicle for fostering the positive and exact sciences. It was only two years before the publication of VMS that Eitelberger himself was awarded the first Austrian professorship in art history. Thun, in his promotion speech, stressed the importance of academic work that effectively based the study of art on empirical research instead of simply deducting from abstract systems. Consequently, Eitelberger did not fail to officially comply with Herbartian philosophy, despite early sympathies for Hegelianism. Similarly, Hanslick had to focus on either formal or empirical aspects, at the expense of metaphysics, in order to align himself with the profile that the Thun Ministry expected for works in disciplines relating to philosophy.
 From July 1853 to March 1854, he pre-published three chapters of VMS (4–6; see note 29). The articles prepare the main arguments of VMS, while citing a lot of empirical research, thus contributing to the empirical discourse on art that was expected by Austrian authorities. The central chapters 1–3 were written later, when Hanslick was already transferred to the Thun Ministry and thus in closer contact with its agenda. It is these first chapters where Hanslick fully develops his argument by focusing increasingly on the formal discourse in musical aesthetics. In chapter 3, where he develops his notion of “tonally moving forms” (“tönend bewegte Formen”; see note 103), he gives a more phenomenologically oriented analysis, therefore assigning a subordinate role to empirical discourse. Indeed, in chapter 3, Hanslick explicitly repudiates the idea that an “ideal of an ‘exact’ science of music after the models of chemistry or of physiology” (“das Ideal einer ‘exacten’ Musikwissenschaft, nach dem Muster der Chemie oder Physiologie”; OMB, 35; VMS, 85) could ever be achieved, because empirical sciences examine the physical elements of music and the sensory apparatus of listening and processing and thus miss the constitutive intellectual aspects of the art (cf. OMB, 51; VMS, 123). We still need to understand, however, what role the Thun Ministry and Hanslick’s personal contacts in the ministry played in this shift of emphasis.
The empirical and the formal discourse, together with the (older) idealist undercurrent that is also present in VMS, however, created a tension that Hanslick later might have found impossible to dissolve. As Karnes observes, he abandoned his aesthetic ambitions soon after he was able to secure a salaried professorship (1861), thus disappointing hopes that he would work out an aesthetics of music in the spirit of Herbartian philosophy. However, VMS furthermore incorporates a historicist discourse on music that Hanslick develops along the lines of Vischer’s aesthetics. While—as we have mentioned above—he deleted passages that Zimmermann dismissed as metaphysical in the second edition of VMS (1858), he still left claims about the historical relativity of beauty unaltered (cf. OMB, 35, 71; VMS, 86, 149), although these claims were clearly in conflict with Zimmermann’s static and therefore orthodox Herbartian concept of beauty, which was concerned primarily with those features that made any given object beautiful “for all time and all places.” Apparently, these claims, though certainly not in line with the Herbartian outlook on art, were seen as less of a risk for his academic ambitions. For Hanslick, the critical point was to eradicate what could be seen as a ‘metaphysical’ line of argument. To understand why metaphysical arguments would have harmed these ambitions, however, we need to analyze the Thun agenda and its historical context.
Instead of founding his point of view in metaphysical speculation, Hanslick strongly emphasizes the ‘positive’ element of his argument via his formal and empirical discourse, but also by drawing on the legal discourse that he similarly employs in VMS and that can be described as distinctly positivistic. Hanslick was thus able to align his arguments with the Thun program of eradicating natural law (and philosophy of law altogether) and replacing it with an appreciation for “the living positive” (“das lebendig Positive”) of law. Thun hoped that by creating a “state positivism” (“Staatspositivismus”), based upon an “extreme cult of the positive” (“extremen Cultus des Positiven”), the revolutionary impetus that was present in teachings of natural law would be neutralized.
It is at the Thun Ministry that the prevailing discourses of VMS have to be embedded not only in the framework of political institutions but also in an interplay of institutional factors and personal relations. This is a separate level of analysis that still needs to draw more extensively on relevant historical and biographical information. Hanslick had good reasons for incorporating legal arguments in VMS, as a background in law was a determining element of the social background at the Thun Ministry. Not only was Thun himself trained as a jurist but so were Eitelberger, at that time already professor of art history, Hanslick’s referee on his habilitation petition Franz Karl Lott (1807–74), then a professor of philosophy at the University of Vienna and one of the early Austrian Herbartians, and the three colleagues Hanslick mentions as supporters of his petition in the ministry: Gustav von Heider (1819–97), Joseph von Helfert (1820–1910), and Joseph von Unger (1828–1913). Hanslick’s personal relations, however, were even closer with respect to his upbringing and his Bohemian roots: Exner, who drafted the philosophical side of Thun’s reform, was his teacher in Prague, Helfert, who had the powerful position of ‘Unterstaatssekretär’ (a high bureaucratic post) at the Thun Ministry, was an old friend from Prague ‘Davidsbund’ times, and both his close friend Robert Zimmermann and Zimmermann’s father Johann August (1793–1869), also from Prague, took part in the reform. It is this complex interplay of personal relations, political and institutional factors, and philosophical and intellectual outlook, as well as the preferred discourses of the Thun agenda, that form the background of the positions that Hanslick presented in VMS. The complex manner in which these factors are interwoven is difficult to understand. More effort needs to be made to gain empirical information that sheds light on the political dimension of his academic career.
Towards a Dynamized View of VMS
As we have seen, the political-institutional context of VMS is central to understanding its philosophical context but not stable in itself. The key event is Hanslick’s transferal to the Thun Ministry, where the central chapters 1 to 3 and the concluding chapter 7 were written. VMS thus developed out of a core, chapter 6, presumably based on a talk that Hanslick gave in Klagenfurt in 1851, two years before his return to Vienna to the Ministry of Finances, and the subsequent composition of chapters 4 to 6, all pre-published in 1853 and 1854.
 The manner in which VMS developed out of these pre-publications is not yet well understood. A footnote at the beginning of the first installment indicates that the essay is a “fragment of a larger work” (“Fragment einer größeren Arbeit”), while a similar footnote is missing from the 1854 article on music and nature. This footnote has led scholars such as Payzant to believe that the pre-publications were derived from an already finished manuscript. An alternative view holds that the book evolved out of more or less independent aphoristic units without a greater, and logically developed, overarching argument. Strauß considers VMS not a “uniform, cohesive text, but rather a collection of essayistic or aphoristic thoughts, grouped around a polemic core.” According to that view, VMS can best be seen as a sequence of chapters, originating in Hanslick’s pre-published essays, which were then compiled into a book in chronological rather than logical order.
While we follow Strauß in regarding VMS not as a uniform, cohesive text with chronologically developed chapters running from chapter 1 to chapter 7, our reading differs when it comes to the logical structure of the text. Our analysis indicates that VMS does indeed have a logical order beyond the ‘aphoristic’ structure that the text displays on its surface. There is a clear line of argument running through the text that does not, however, follow the sequence of the published chapters but rather the supposed chronological order in which they were written. Hanslick first lays the foundation for his investigation by elaborating upon the notion of a tone (chapter 6). The argument then continues by explaining how tones are received by the physiological system (chapters 4–5). This is followed by reflections on how the physiological response forms the basis for feelings (chapter 1) and what status feelings have in musical aesthetics (chapters 1–2). Following a negative assessment of feelings in aesthetic contexts, the reader is then led to the positive thesis (chapter 3). Concluding remarks sum up some of the main findings and provide a more elaborate conceptual framework (chapter 7).
The logical architecture of the chapters, however, is more complex than this brief analysis of their overall sequence can establish. While the overarching argument clearly unfolds in the sequence described, VMS also exhibits a highly complex reference structure with regard to key terms and concepts that Hanslick develops throughout the text in a rather nontransparent manner. As has already been observed by Payzant, chapters 4–6 make use of key concepts such as ‘imagination,’ ‘material,’ or the ‘specifically musical’ that Hanslick elaborated in greater detail in chapters 1–3. In a similar manner, Hanslick also developed larger argumentative units across chapters and stages of the text. For example, the Laokoon passage that is central to Hanslick’s argument in chapter 7, the last chapter of the book, was—as Strauß observed—originally part of Hanslick’s 1854 article on music and nature, the nucleus of the text. The collage-like textual technique that Hanslick used is essential to the composition of VMS. To fully understand how this technique works, we need to pay attention to how the greater argument unfolds with regard to the reference structure of key terms, concepts, and argumentative units in the individual chapters and the different stages of the text.
Examining VMS in its various developmental stages—even only within the first edition—not only sheds light on the structure of Hanslick’s argument; it is also crucial for our understanding of the complexities and ambiguities of Hanslick’s approach, an issue that was never systematically addressed by traditional Hanslick scholarship. While ‘schön’ (beautiful) or ‘das Schöne’ (beauty), the central term of Hanslick’s investigation, is fundamentally ambiguous throughout the treatise—as a term designating the aesthetic features of an object (descriptive usage) as well as defining an aesthetic ideal (normative usage)—other ambiguities develop within the text. ‘Scientific method,’ for example, is used in a purely empirical meaning in chapter 6, but is only used per analogiam in chapter 1, where Hanslick faced the task of using his empirical insights for a more philosophically oriented investigation. Similarly, the concept of ‘Ton’ (tone) that Hanslick fully develops in chapter 6, is not used in the abstract diatonic meaning that Payzant stipulates but instead refers to measurable air vibrations. The concept broadens to take on a more abstract meaning in the course of the development of the text, particularly when Hanslick develops his ideas about the relation of ‘Geist’ (mind/spirit/intellect) and ‘Material’ (a concept that develops along similar lines from chapter 6 to chapter 3). A careful investigation of key concepts and their development in the different stages of VMS is of prime importance for our understanding of Hanslick’s approach, as central features of his aesthetics change not only from edition to edition but also from chapter to chapter. In regard to Hanslick’s concept of tone, for example, the relevance of such an analysis can hardly be overestimated. A dynamized view of VMS thus also aims at giving a microanalysis of the development and reference structure of key concepts and argumentative units across the chapters of the text.
 This dynamic view that we believe is central to a textual analysis of VMS is also a crucial element in understanding how the philosophical context of VMS develops and reacts to the evolving political-institutional context, with Hanslick’s careerist agenda being the most essential factor. We have already addressed the ‘deleted ending’ of the first edition and the careerist agenda behind Hanslick’s adoption of Zimmermann’s criticism. Apparently, the main motive behind the move was Hanslick’s attempt to strip the text of elements of idealist thought, at least at passages where these are too obvious and eye-catching. Hanslick made further changes in the third edition of 1865, when his professorship was already approved and salaried as an ‘außerordentlicher Universitätsprofessor’ (associated university professor), but he had not yet reached his final goal of obtaining the first full professorship in musicology at an Austrian university—at Austria’s premiere academic institution in Vienna, that is—that was to follow in 1870. At this point, we have to assume that careerist motives, strongly associated with the political-institutional sphere, play a much less important role in the complex contextual setting that informs the development of the text. Of particular interest in this respect is the main theoretical fault line that runs through the text on a philosophical level, the tension between a Herbartian approach and one that is based on positions shaped by Hegelian aesthetics, namely those of Friedrich Theodor Vischer. While Hanslick continued to amend the text until the tenth edition of 1902, the last edition to appear in his lifetime, he now had less reason to bring himself in line with the ideological expectations of the academic and cultural establishment. In the sixth edition of 1881, when Hanslick added a long remark on Herbart’s aesthetic position, he could not help criticizing Herbart for his “many foolish”—or rather ‘unfitting’—remarks (“manche schiefe Bemerkung”; VMS, 38; OMB, 85). As Bonds has observed, Hanslick was now “secure enough in his professional position at the University of Vienna that he had no need to be counted within or outside the Herbartian tradition.” Obviously, he still found himself in a very different position in 1865 (before obtaining a full professorship), when he even replaced Vischer with Herbart in the third edition of the treatise (VMS, 160; OMB, 77), thus streamlining his own philosophical foundations to the highest possible degree.
Conclusion: A Research Program
As we hope to have demonstrated, Hanslick’s aesthetic classic is not a monolithic, uniform text. It has a developmental dimension that is essential for a full understanding of how his arguments operate and how the different philosophical frameworks he employs function. On a textual level, this developmental dimension manifests itself both across chapters and throughout the different editions of VMS. On a contextual level, it informs the philosophical context as well as the political-institutional setting of the text and the interrelations between these contextual factors. Rather than investigating ‘the’ aesthetics of VMS, Hanslick scholarship, we believe, needs to place more emphasis on how Hanslick’s argument develops over time and on what factors are decisive for the many textual decisions that Hanslick made from the pre-publications of 1853 and 1854 up to the ‘final’ edition of 1902. In this article, we have only addressed issues of general philosophical orientations. Other textual adaptations and evolutions, particularly with respect to Hanslick’s relation to Wagner and the music of his time, are no less significant. The heavily decontextualized approach that Hanslick offered thus needs to be contextualized on various levels, and we hope we have succeeded in at least sketching the routes that an insightful investigation of the text should take.
- Philip Alperson, “Musical Worlds: New Directions in the Philosophy of Music,” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 52, no. 1 (1994): 1. ↑
- Wayne D. Bowman, Philosophical Perspectives on Music (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998), 140. ↑
- Vom Musikalisch-Schönen will be referenced according to Geoffrey Payzant’s translation, based on the eighth edition (1891) of Hanslick’s treatise: On the Musically Beautiful: A Contribution towards the Revision of the Aesthetics of Music (Indianapolis: Hackett, 1986). A different translation provided by Gustav Cohen, which is based on the seventh edition (1885) of VMS, is available online: The Beautiful in Music: A Contribution to the Revisal of Musical Aesthetics (London: Novello, 1891). The original wording will be referenced according to the critical edition by Dietmar Strauß, which contains all ten editions published during Hanslick’s lifetime (1854 to 1902): Vom Musikalisch-Schönen: Ein Beitrag zur Revision der Ästhetik in [sic] der Tonkunst; Teil 1: Historisch-kritische Ausgabe (Mainz: Schott, 1990). A German online version, acutely aware of the textual problems posed by the different editions of Hanslick’s treatise, is provided by Wolfgang Lempfrid. In our paper, OMB (Payzant) and VMS (Strauß) will be used to refer to the text. ↑
- Lee A. Rothfarb, “Nineteenth-Century Fortunes of Musical Formalism,” Journal of Music Theory 55, no. 2 (2011): 195. ↑
- Peter Kivy, Antithetical Arts: On the Ancient Quarrel between Literature and Music (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 2009), 53. ↑
- For an extensive overview of Hanslick’s reception by analytical philosophers of music and ‘New Musicologists,’ see: Alexander Wilfing, “Eduard Hanslicks Rezeption im englischen Sprachraum” (PhD diss., University of Vienna, 2016), 163–207 and 226–80. ↑
- David Huron, “Aesthetics,” in The Oxford Handbook of Music Psychology, ed. Susan Hallam, Ian Cross, and Michael Thaut (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009), 151. Huron mentions Susanne K. Langer, Peter Kivy, Roger Scruton, Jerrold Levinson, and Stephen Davies, thereby naming some of the most important contributors to anglophone philosophy of music. ↑
- Dietmar Strauß, Vom Musikalisch-Schönen: Ein Beitrag zur Revision der Ästhetik in [sic] der Tonkunst; Teil 2: Eduard Hanslicks Schrift in textkritischer Sicht (Mainz: Schott, 1990), 78. ↑
- Werner Abegg, Musikästhetik und Musikkritik bei Eduard Hanslick, Studien zur Musikgeschichte des 19. Jahrhunderts 44 (Regensburg: Gustav Bosse, 1974), 19. ↑
- For a more detailed exploration of the shifting currents of Hanslick scholarship, see: Strauß, VMS Teil 2, 20–65; Christoph Landerer, “Eduard Hanslicks Ästhetikprogramm und die österreichische Philosophie der Jahrhundertmitte,” Österreichische Musikzeitschrift 54, no. 9 (1999): 6–20; James Deaville, “Negotiating the ‘Absolute’: Hanslick’s Path Through Musical History,” in Rethinking Hanslick: Music, Formalism, and Expression, ed. Nicole Grimes, Siobhán Donovan, and Wolfgang Marx (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2013), 15–37; Christoph Landerer and Alexander Wilfing, “Hanslick und der Cultural turn,” Musik & Ästhetik 72 (2014): 117–21; Wilfing, “Hanslicks Rezeption,” 9–55. ↑
- Rudolf Schäfke, Geschichte der Musikästhetik in Umrissen (Berlin: Max Hesse, 1934), 376. ↑
- Felix Printz, “Zur Würdigung des musikästhetischen Formalismus Eduard Hanslicks” (PhD diss., University of Munich, 1918), 4. ↑
- Herbart’s relation to Kant is tricky, with areas of considerable disagreement and other areas of remarkable argumentative overlap. Herbart even considered himself a Kantian of the year 1828: Karl Thomas, Kant und Herbart und Herr Professor Rosenkranz: Ein Beitrag zur Beurtheilung der im 12ten Bande von Kant’s sämmtlichen Werken, Leipzig bei L. Voß, enthaltenen Geschichte der Kant’schen Philosophie des Herrn Karl Rosenkranz (Berlin: George Gropius, 1840), 5. In general, Herbart and the Herbartian school aimed at a continuation to Kant’s critical tradition that avoided the terms and the general route of Hegelian idealism. ↑
- Franz Marschner, “Kant’s Bedeutung für die Musik-Ästhetik der Gegenwart,” Kantstudien: Philosophische Zeitschrift 6 (1901): 19–40 and 206–43, esp. 28–35. ↑
- Rudolf Schäfke, Eduard Hanslick und die Musikästhetik, Sammlung musikwissenschaftlicher Einzeldarstellungen 1 (Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1922), 6. ↑
- Christoph Khittl, “Eduard Hanslicks Verhältnis zur Ästhetik,” in Biographische Beiträge zum Musikleben Wiens im 19. und frühen 20. Jahrhundert: Leopoldine Blahetka, Eduard Hanslick, Robert Hirschfeld, ed. Friedrich C. Heller, Musikleben: Studien zur Musikgeschichte Österreichs 1 (Vienna: VWGÖ, 1992), 85–86. ↑
- Most of the German research originated as dissertations, such as the early works of Printz (1918) and Schäfke (1922). After the war, dissertations were written in both German states, demonstrating a vivid interest in Hanslick in the East and the West: Eberhard Stange, “Die Musikanschauung Eduard Hanslicks in seinen Kritiken und Aufsätzen: Eine Studie zur musikalisch-geistigen Situation des 19. Jahrhunderts” (PhD diss., University of Münster, 1954); Dieter Breitkreutz, “Die musikästhetischen Anschauungen Eduard Hanslicks und ihre Gültigkeit in der Gegenwart” (PhD diss., University of Halle, 1969); Dorothea Glatt, Zur geschichtlichen Bedeutung der Musikästhetik Eduard Hanslicks, Schriften zur Musik 15 (Munich: Musikverlag Emil Katzbichler, 1972; formerly: PhD diss., University of Heidelberg, 1969); Abegg, Eduard Hanslick; Hartmut Grimm, “Zwischen Klassik und Positivismus: Zum Formbegriff Eduard Hanslicks” (PhD diss., Humboldt University of Berlin, 1982); Andreas Mertsch, “Studien zum musikbezogenen Denken in bürgerlicher Philosophie und Einzelwissenschaft zwischen 1848 und 1933: A. Schopenhauer, A. B. Marx, E. Hanslick, A. Seidl, R. Ingarden” (PhD diss., Humboldt University of Berlin, 1986). Although focused on contributions referring to variants in the different editions of VMS, Dietmar Strauß’s commentary to his critical edition of Hanslick’s treatise similarly indicates a remarkable dominance of German scholarship in the late nineteenth and all through the twentieth century. Strauß mentions the works of eighteen authors, with only two non-German scholars, Otakar Hostinský (1847–1910) and Benedetto Croce (1866–1952): Ottakar [sic] Hostinský, Das Musikalisch-Schöne und das Gesammtkunstwerk vom Standpuncte der formalen Aesthetik: Eine Studie (Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel, 1877); Benedetto Croce, Estetica come scienza dell’espressione e linguistica generale: Teoria e Storia, 3rd ed. (Bari: Giuseppe Laterza, 1908). For an English rendition of Croce’s monograph available online, see: Aesthetic as Science of Expression and General Linguistic, trans. Douglas Ainslie (London: Macmillan, 1909). ↑
- A different—less prominent—angle developed with the rise of modern analytical philosophy of music, located primarily in the Anglo-American academic world, where philosophy of music (as an academic discipline) and analytic aesthetics are more firmly established than in continental Europe. Looking back on the past couple of decades, one can almost speak of ‘two cultures’ of academic preoccupation with Hanslick, with philosophers (mostly Anglo-American) interested in Hanslick’s aesthetics from a systematic, non-historical perspective, musicologists with a historical outlook on Hanslick’s ideas (including Hanslick’s work as a critic), and rather little communication between the two approaches. Cf.: Wilfing, “Hanslicks Rezeption,” 9–11. Geoffrey Payzant, whose work on Hanslick appeared mainly during the 1980s, is a notable exception (as a philosopher with an almost exclusively historical viewpoint). Lydia Goehr’s work also has a wider scope and a more critical orientation. The systematic-analytical perspective, however, prevails in publications by Philip Alperson, Stephen Davies, Peter Kivy, Jerrold Levinson, or Jenefer Robinson, to name just a few of the most significant contributors to the field. ↑
- Nicole Grimes, Introduction to Grimes, Donovan, and Marx, Rethinking Hanslick, 4; Deaville, “Through Musical History,” 28; Wilfing, “Hanslicks Rezeption,” 41–44. On the substantial ideological divide between the FDR and the GDR with particular consideration of disciplinary frictions in musicological scholarship, compare primarily: Anne C. Shreffler, “Berlin Walls: Dahlhaus, Knepler, and Ideologies of Music History,” Journal of Musicology 20, no. 4 (2003): 498–525; and Mathias Hansen, “Carl Dahlhaus und das Politische,” Musik & Ästhetik 47 (2008): 5–18. ↑
- For an in-depth critique of one-sided readings of VMS that miss Hanslick’s embedment in local academic traditions, compare in general: Christoph Landerer, “Eduard Hanslicks Musikästhetik und ihr österreichisches Nachleben: Ein ‘Wiener Denkstil’?” Musicologica Austriaca 20 (2001), 91–117. ↑
- Khittl, “Hanslicks Verhältnis”; Kurt Blaukopf, Pioniere empiristischer Musikforschung: Österreich und Böhmen als Wiege der modernen Kunstsoziologie, Wissenschaftliche Weltauffassung und Kunst 1 (Vienna: Hölder-Pichler-Tempsky, 1995); Ines Grimm, Eduard Hanslicks Prager Zeit: Frühe Wurzeln seiner Schrift “Vom Musikalisch-Schönen” (Saarbrücken: Pfau, 2003). Cf.: Christoph Landerer, “Bernard Bolzano, Eduard Hanslick und die Geschichte des musikästhetischen Objektivismus: Zu einem Kapitel (alt)österreichischer Geistesgeschichte,” Kriterion 3, no. 5 (1993): 16–30 and no. 6 (1993): 20–40; “Ästhetikprogramm”; “Ästhetik von oben? Ästhetik von unten? Objektivität und ‘naturwissenschaftliche’ Methode in Eduard Hanslicks Musikästhetik,” Archiv für Musikwissenschaft 61, no. 1 (2004): 38–53. ↑
- In 2010 and 2013, two essay collections appeared, and a new English translation of VMS followed in 2018: Eduard Hanslick zum Gedenken: Bericht des Symposions zum Anlass seines 100. Todestages, ed. Theophil Antonicek, Gernot Gruber, and Christoph Landerer, Wiener Veröffentlichungen zur Musikwissenschaft 43 (Tutzing: Hans Schneider, 2010); Rethinking Hanslick: Music, Formalism, and Expression, ed. Nicole Grimes, Siobhán Donovan, and Wolfgang Marx (Rochester: University of Rochester Press, 2013); and Lee Rothfarb and Christoph Landerer, trans., Eduard Hanslick’s “On the Musically Beautiful”: A New Translation (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018). ↑
- Kevin C. Karnes, Music, Criticism, and the Challenge of History: Shaping Modern Musical Thought in Late Nineteenth-Century Vienna, AMS Studies in Music (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008) sparked a lot of interest, as did Mark Evan Bonds, Absolute Music: The History of an Idea (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014) and David Brodbeck, Defining ‘Deutschtum’: Political Ideology, German Identity, and Music-Critical Discourse in Liberal Vienna, The New Cultural History of Music Series (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014). The 2013 essay collection mentioned above also demonstrates how the scope and depth of scholarship has developed in recent years. ↑
- David Brodbeck, “Dvořákʼs Reception in Liberal Vienna: Language Ordinances, National Property, and the Rhetoric of ‘Deutschtum’,” Journal of the American Musicological Society 60, no. 1 (2007): 71–132; Margaret Notley, Lateness and Brahms: Music and Culture in the Twilight of Viennese Liberalism, AMS Studies in Music (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007); Karnes, Modern Musical Thought. Cf.: Dana Gooley, “Hanslick on Johann Strauss Jr.: Genre, Social Class, and Liberalism in Vienna” and Lauren Freede, “The Critic as Subject: Hanslick’s Aus meinem Leben as a Reflection on Culture and Identity,” in Grimes, Donovan, and Marx, Rethinking Hanslick, 91–107 and 187–211, as well as Brodbeck, Defining ‘Deutschtum’. ↑
- David Brodbeck, “‘Poison-Flaming Flowers from the Orient and Nightingales from Bayreuth’: On Hanslick’s Reception of the Music of Goldmark,” Nicole Grimes, “German Humanism, Liberalism, and Elegy in Hanslick’s Writings on Brahms,” and David Kasunic, “On ‘Jewishness’ and Genre: Hanslick’s Reception of Gustav Mahler,” in Grimes, Donovan, and Marx, Rethinking Hanslick, 132–59, 160–84, and 311–38. Cf.: Freede, “Critic as Subject” and Brodbeck, Defining ‘Deutschtum’. ↑
- Anthony Pryer, “Hanslick, Legal Processes, and Scientific Methodologies: How Not to Construct an Ontology of Music,” in Grimes, Donovan, and Marx, Rethinking Hanslick, 52–69. ↑
- Geoffrey Payzant, “Eduard Hanslick and Bernhard Gutt,” Music Review 50 (1989): 131; and his Eduard Hanslick and Ritter Berlioz in Prague: A Documentary Narrative (Calgary: University of Calgary Press, 1991), 107. ↑
- On the impact the 1848 revolution and the execution of his colleague Alfred Julius Becher (1803–48) had on the shift in Hanslick’s aesthetics, see several recent studies: Markus Gärtner, Eduard Hanslick versus Franz Liszt: Aspekte einer grundlegenden Kontroverse, Studien und Materialien zur Musikwissenschaft 39 (Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 2005), 108–9; Barbara Boisits, “‘Tönend bewegte Formen’ oder ‘seelischer Ausdruck’: Zu einer musikästhetischen Streitfrage im 19. Jahrhundert,” De musica disserenda 2, no. 2 (2006): 45; James Garratt, Music, Culture, and Social Reform in the Age of Wagner (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010), 144–45; Christoph Landerer, “1848 und die Wissenschaften: Staatliche Bildungsplanung und der österreichische Weg in die Moderne,” in Musik und Revolution: Die Produktion von Identität und Raum durch Musik in Zentraleuropa, 1848/49, ed. Barbara Boisits, Forschungsschwerpunkt Musik – Identität – Raum (Vienna: Hollitzer, 2013), 629–30; Bonds, Absolute Music, 153–54. ↑
- Norbert Tschulik, “Neues zur Ästhetik und Kritik von Eduard Hanslick,” Österreichische Musikzeitschrift 34, no. 12 (1979): 601–10. However, Tschulik only identifies the first essay, “On the Subjective Impression of Music and its Position in Aesthetics” (“Ueber den subjektiven Eindruck der Musik und seine Stellung in der Aesthetik,” Oesterreichische Blätter für Literatur und Kunst 30 (1853): 177–78; 31 (1853): 181–82; 33 (1853): 193–95), later to become chapters 4 and 5, and overlooks the second article, “Music in its Relations to Nature” (“Die Tonkunst in ihren Beziehungen zur Natur,” Oesterreichische Blätter für Literatur und Kunst 11 (1854), 78–80), later to become chapter 6. ↑
- Robert Zimmermann, “Zur Aesthetik der Tonkunst: Vom Musikalisch-Schönen; Ein Beitrag zur Revision der Aesthetik der Tonkunst. Von Dr. Eduard Hanslick,” Oesterreichische Blätter für Literatur und Kunst 47 (1854): 313. Schäfke (Eduard Hanslick, 7), for example, was completely oblivious to these essays and criticized Zimmermann for assuming that VMS might consist of pre-published “fragments” (“Bruchstücke”). ↑
- Strauß, VMS Teil 2, 78–87; and “Die Geburt der Ästhetik aus der Kritik? Hanslicks Vom Musikalisch-Schönen im Umfeld seiner frühen Rezensionen,” in Eduard Hanslick: Sämtliche Schriften; Historisch-kritische Ausgabe, vol. 1/2, Aufsätze und Rezensionen, 1849–1854, ed. Dietmar Strauß (Vienna: Böhlau, 1994), 391–402. Cf.: Grimm, Prager Zeit, chap. 1. ↑
- The first English translation of VMS’s original ending, however, was provided by Bojan Bujić, Music in European Thought, 1851–1912, Cambridge Readings in the Literature of Music (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988), 39. ↑
- See the British Journal of Aesthetics 57, no. 1 (2017), including a symposium on Bonds, Absolute Music, with contributions by Guy Dammann, Hannah Ginsborg, and Tamara Levitz as well as Christoph Landerer and Nick Zangwill, who focus on the question whether Hanslick’s ‘deleted ending’ marks a significant shift in the overall argument of VMS. Cf.: Tiago Sousa, “Was Hanslick a Closet Schopenhauerian?,” British Journal of Aesthetics 57, no. 2 (2017): 211–29. ↑
- Mark Evan Bonds, “Idealism and the Aesthetics of Instrumental Music at the Turn of the Nineteenth Century,” Journal of the American Musicological Society 50, no. 2–3 (1997): 415. ↑
- Christoph Landerer and Nick Zangwill, “Hanslick’s Deleted Ending,” British Journal of Aesthetics 57, no. 1 (2017): 85–95. ↑
- Barbara Titus, “The Quest for Spiritualized Form: (Re)positioning Eduard Hanslick,” Acta Musicologica 80, no. 1 (2008): 67–98. Paul Bruchhagen’s rather short article “Hanslick und die spekulative Ästhetik,” Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft 30 (1936): 270–76 is more concerned with Hanslick and Hegel and does not delve deeply into Hanslick’s relation to Vischer. ↑
- Original wording: “Wie viel ich Ihnen an Belehrung danke, davon spricht jede Seite meiner Schrift.” Titus, “Quest for Form,” 94–96. ↑
- Further steps towards a comprehensive investigation into Hanslick’s complex relations to Hegel’s works and Hegelian philosophy altogether have been taken in: Alexander Wilfing and Christoph Landerer, “Eduard Hanslick und der Hegelianismus,” Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft 62, no. 2 (2017): 307–28. ↑
- For several notable examples, see: Carl Dahlhaus, “Eduard Hanslick und der musikalische Formbegriff,” Die Musikforschung 20, no. 2 (1967): 146; Glatt, Eduard Hanslick, 75–79; Carl Dahlhaus, Die Idee der absoluten Musik (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1978), 110–12; Lothar Schmidt, “Arabeske: Zu einigen Voraussetzungen und Konsequenzen von Eduard Hanslicks musikalischem Formbegriff,” Archiv für Musikwissenschaft 46, no. 2 (1989): 91–93; Mark Burford, “Hanslick’s Idealist Materialism,” 19th-Century Music 30, no. 2 (2006): 170. ↑
- For several examples from recent years, see: Theodore Gracyk, “Aesthetics of Popular Music,” Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, chap. 1, accessed July 9, 2015; Huron, “Aesthetics,” 151; Hanne Appelqvist, “Form and Freedom: The Kantian Ethos of Musical Formalism,” Nordic Journal of Aesthetics 40–41 (2010–11): 76; Stephen Davies, “Analytic Philosophy and Music,” in The Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Music, ed. Theodore Gracyk and Andrew Kania (London: Routledge, 2011), 297; Rothfarb, “Musical Formalism,” 195. ↑
- Original wording: “daß in ästhetischen Untersuchungen vorerst das schöne Object und nicht das empfindende Subject zu erforschen ist” (VMS, 24). Payzant’s translation of this passage is misleading (“the beautiful object, not the feelings of the subject”; OMB, 2). The term ‘empfindend’ (‘perceiving’) used by Hanslick in this quotation is not to be confused with ‘Gefühl’ (‘feeling’). Hanslick refers to the sensual input, not to the more complex psychological phenomenon he later calls ‘feeling.’ We have therefore proposed our own translation of the quoted passage. Gustav Cohen, however, gives an accurate rendition of Hanslick’s statement: “In aesthetics … the rule has already been laid down that aesthetic investigations must, above all, consider the beautiful object, not the perceiving subject.” Cohen, Beautiful in Music, 17. ↑
- Recently, Alexander Wilfing has taken a closer look at this issue in this very journal: “Hanslick, Kant, and the Origins of Vom Musikalisch-Schönen,” Musicologica Austriaca – Journal for Austrian Music Studies (2018). A second article, exploring the influence post-Kantian aesthetics had on Hanslick’s argument, is forthcoming: Alexander Wilfing, “Hanslick’s Kantianism? Johann Heinrich Dambeck, Christian Friedrich Michaelis, and Hans Georg Nägeli,” to be published in conference proceedings of the congress “Hanslick im Kontext/Hanslick in Context”, ed. Alexander Wilfing and Christoph Landerer (Vienna: Böhlau, forthcoming). ↑
- Wolfgang Röd, ed., Geschichte der Philosophie, vol. 10, Die Philosophie der Neuzeit 4: Positivismus, Sozialismus und Spiritualismus im 19. Jahrhundert, ed. Wolfgang Röd and Stefano Poggi (Munich: C.H. Beck, 1989). ↑
- Christoph Landerer, Eduard Hanslick und Bernard Bolzano: Ästhetisches Denken in Österreich in der Mitte des 19. Jahrhunderts, Beiträge zur Bolzano-Forschung 17 (St. Augustin: Academia, 2004), esp. 8–132. See also his: “Objektivismus,” 27–29; “Ästhetikprogramm,” 17; and “Eduard Hanslick und die österreichische Geistesgeschichte,” in Antonicek, Gruber, and Landerer, Hanslick zum Gedenken, 62. ↑
- Khittl, “Hanslicks Verhältnis”; Grimm, Prager Zeit, 137–52; Bonds, Absolute Music, 158–62. ↑
- Andreas Hoeschen and Lothar Schneider, “Der ideengeschichtliche Ort des Herbartianismus,” in Herbarts Kultursystem: Perspektiven der Transdisziplinarität im 19. Jahrhundert, ed. Andreas Hoeschen and Lothar Schneider (Würzburg: Königshausen & Neumann, 2001), 15. Cf.: Georg Jäger, “Die Herbartianische Ästhetik: Ein österreichischer Weg in die Moderne,” in Die österreichische Literatur: Eine Dokumentation ihrer literaturhistorischen Entwicklung; Ihr Profil im 19. Jahrhundert, 1830–1880, ed. Herbert Zeman (Graz: Akademische Druck- und Verlagsanstalt, 1982), 197–98. ↑
- For this significant difference between Hanslick and Herbart, compare primarily: Christoph Landerer, “Aesthetica longa, ars brevis: Vergänglichkeit des Schönen und Zeitlosigkeit der Ästhetik bei Eduard Hanslick,” Musik & Ästhetik 53 (2010): 10–19; and his Hanslick und Bolzano, 63–65 and 99–103. Cf.: Landerer and Zangwill, “Deleted Ending,” 93–94, as well as their “Contemplating Musical Essence,” Journal of the Royal Musical Association 141, no. 2 (2016): 490–92. ↑
- Landerer, “Österreichische Geistesgeschichte,” 60–61. Cf.: Schäfke, Eduard Hanslick, 13; Jäger, “Weg in die Moderne,” 210–14; Christoph Landerer, “Form und Gefühl in Nietzsches Musikästhetik,” Nietzsche-Forschung 13 (2006): 54. ↑
- Herbart inaugurated a program of cognitivist reductionism that considered feelings a subclass of ‘Vorstellungen’ (representations). Hanslick might have learned about Herbart’s psychology in Prague through his teacher Franz Serafin Exner (1802–53). For this cognitive conception of emotions and Hanslick’s importance for its application in musical aesthetics, see: Wilfing, “Hanslicks Rezeption,” 226–80; and his “Tonally Moving Forms – Peter Kivy and Eduard Hanslick’s ‘Enhanced Formalism’,” Principia: pisma koncepcyjne z filozofii i socjologii teoretycznej (2018). ↑
- Katherine Hirt, When Machines Play Chopin: Musical Spirit and Automation in Nineteenth-Century German Literature, Interdisciplinary German Cultural Studies 8 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 2010), 67. One could add Robert W. Hall, “Schopenhauer: Music and the Emotions,” Schopenhauer-Jahrbuch 83 (2002): 151–61, and—even more recently—Sousa, “Schopenhauerian.” A substantial analysis, however, is still missing. ↑
- Alexander Wilfing, “Gefühl und Musik bei Arthur Schopenhauer und Eduard Hanslick,” Musik & Ästhetik 66 (2013): 31–46. ↑
- OMB, xvi. Cf.: Landerer, Hanslick und Bolzano, 56, his “Form und Gefühl,” and Wilfing, “Hanslick’s Kantianism”. ↑
- Klaus-Christian Köhnke, Entstehung und Aufstieg des Neukantianismus: Die deutsche Universitätsphilosophie zwischen Idealismus und Positivismus (Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp, 1986), 109–21. ↑
- Hanslick’s passage, which was modified thoroughly in the second edition of 1858, was only partially included in Payzant’s translation. Cf.: Bonds, Absolute Music, 189, who gives an alternative translation: “Beauty is thus only for the pleasure of a perceiving subject, not generated through that subject.” Original wording: “Das Schöne ist und bleibt schön, auch wenn es keine Gefühle erzeugt, ja wenn es weder geschaut noch betrachtet wird; also zwar nur für das Wohlgefallen eines anschauenden Subjects, aber nicht durch dasselbe” (VMS, 26). ↑
- Original wording: “Das Schöne ist schön und bleibt schön, auch wenn es keine Gefühle erzeugt, ja auch, wenn es weder geschaut noch betrachtet wird.” Zimmermann, “Aesthetik der Tonkunst,” 313. Schäfke, Eduard Hanslick, 30 was the first to make this observation. ↑
- Original wording: “Auch wenn es auf dem ganzen Erdenrunde nur einen einzigen Menschen, oder auch gar keinen gäbe, … bliebe doch das Schöne schön und das Garstige garstig.” Bernard Bolzano, Über den Begriff des Schönen: Eine philosophische Abhandlung (Prague: Borrosch et André, 1843), 67. Zimmermann is more closely aligned here with Bolzano’s objectivism, which is stricter than that of Herbart. ↑
- Original wording: “Das Schöne ist aber wesentlich Erscheinung, also für ein anschauendes Subject.” Friedrich Theodor Vischer, Aesthetik oder Wissenschaft des Schönen, vol. 3.1, Dritter Theil: Die Kunstlehre (Stuttgart: Mäcken, 1851), 3 (§487). The context of the passage is Hanslick’s introduction of the concept of ‘Anschauung’ (perception) that Zimmermann, in his review, regarded as rooted in Vischer. ↑
- Grimm, “Zwischen Klassik,” 87 and 94–95. ↑
- Original wording: “das Schöne beruht auf sich gleich bleibenden Verhältnissen.” Zimmermann, “Aesthetik der Tonkunst,” 313. ↑
- Payzant’s translation does not include the final sentence, on the ground of it being “vestigial” (OMB, 105). It is, however, a typical instance of Hanslick trying to make use of a variety of sources that are not easy to reconcile. ↑
- Burford, “Hanslick’s Materialism”; Titus, “Quest for Form”; Rothfarb, “Musical Formalism”. ↑
- Landerer, Hanslick und Bolzano; Karnes, Modern Musical Thought; Bonds, Absolute Music. ↑
- Mark Evan Bonds, “Aesthetic Amputations: Absolute Music and the Deleted Endings of Hanslick’s Vom Musikalisch-Schönen,” 19th-Century Music 36, no. 1 (2012): 3–23. ↑
- Karnes, Modern Musical Thought, 32. ↑
- Landerer, “Ästhetik von oben?,” 39. ↑
- Burford, “Hanslick’s Materialism,” 167. ↑
- Rothfarb, “Musical Formalism,” 176–79 and 193–97. ↑
- For some of the most meticulous explorations of the specific contexts of Hanslick’s aesthetics, see: Strauß, VMS Teil 2; Khittl, “Hanslicks Verhältnis”; Blaukopf, Pioniere; Grimm, Prager Zeit; Landerer, Hanslick und Bolzano; Karnes, Modern Musical Thought; Landerer, “Österreichische Geistesgeschichte”; Bonds, Absolute Music; Alexander Wilfing, “Eduard Hanslick zwischen Deutschem Idealismus und Österreichischem Realismus: Eine Fallstudie zur österreichischen Kantrezeption,” in Ausgehend von Kant: Wegmarken der Klassischen Deutschen Philosophie, ed. Violetta L. Waibel et al., Studien zur Phänomenologie und praktischen Philosophie 38 (Würzburg: Ergon, 2016), 319–42; Wilfing, “Origins.” For the ideological embedment of Hanslick’s scientific approach in 19th-century Austria, compare primarily: Peter Stachel, “Ethnischer Pluralismus und wissenschaftliche Theoriebildung im zentraleuropäischen Raum: Fallbeispiele wissenschaftlicher und philosophischer Reflexion der ethnisch-kulturellen Vielfalt der Donaumonarchie” (PhD diss., University of Graz, 1999), 331–47. ↑
- Rainer Leitner, “Das Reformwerk von Exner, Bonitz und Thun: Das österreichische Gymnasium in der zweiten Hälfte des 19. Jahrhunderts; Kaderschmiede der Wiener Moderne,” in Zwischen Orientierung und Krise: Zum Umgang mit Wissen in der Moderne, ed. Sonja Rinofner-Kreidl, Studien zur Moderne 2 (Vienna: Böhlau, 1998), 17–69; Peter Stachel, “Das österreichische Bildungssystem zwischen 1749 und 1918,” Geschichte der österreichischen Humanwissenschaften, vol. 1, Historischer Kontext, wissenschaftssoziologische Befunde und methodologische Voraussetzungen, ed. Karl Acham (Vienna: Passagen, 1999), 115–46; Christof Aichner and Brigitte Mazohl, ed., Die Thun-Hohenstein’schen Universitätsreformen: Konzeption – Umsetzung – Nachwirkungen (Vienna: Böhlau, 2017). ↑
- Karnes, Modern Musical Thought, 31. ↑
- The petition is reprinted in Strauß, VMS Teil 2, 143–45. For an English translation, see: Karnes, Modern Musical Thought, 32. ↑
- Karnes, Modern Musical Thought, 31–34. For a similar argument, compare: Geoffrey Payzant, Hanslick on the Musically Beautiful: Sixteen Lectures on the Musical Aesthetics of Eduard Hanslick (Christchurch: Cybereditions, 2001), 131; Landerer, Hanslick und Bolzano, 83–86; Bonds, “Deleted Endings,” 7; Bonds, Absolute Music, 159; Landerer and Zangwill, “Deleted Ending,” 90–91. ↑
- For his early Hegelian outlook, see: Eduard Hanslick, “Censur und Kunst-Kritik,” Wiener Zeitung, March 24, 1848. Cf.: Strauß, “Geburt der Ästhetik”; Hiroshi Yoshida, “Eduard Hanslick and the Idea of ‘Public’ in Musical Culture: Towards a Socio-Political Context of Formalistic Aesthetics,” International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 32, no. 2 (2001): 181–84; Grimm, Prager Zeit, 61–104; Barbara Boisits, “Formalismus als österreichische Staatsdoktrin? Zum Kontext musikalischer Formalästhetik innerhalb der Wissenschaft Zentraleuropas,” Musicological Annual 40, no. 1–2 (2004): 129–36; Barbara Boisits, “‘Das Wort ist frei, die Kunst ist frei’: Wiener Musikkritik im Revolutionsjahr 1848,” in Boisits, Musik und Revolution, 555–78; Bonds, Absolute Music, 153–54; Markéta Štědronská, August Wilhelm Ambros im musikästhetischen Diskurs um 1850, Münchner Veröffentlichungen zur Musikgeschichte 75 (Munich: Allitera: 2015), chap. 2. ↑
- Alexander Wilfing, “Richard Wagner in Eduard Hanslicks Schriften: Wagnerismus und Wagnerkultus,” Musicologica Austriaca 31–32 (2014), 165–70. ↑
- Dietmar Strauß, “Vom Davidsbund zum ästhetischen Manifest: Zu Eduard Hanslicks Schriften, 1844–1854,” in Eduard Hanslick: Sämtliche Schriften; Historisch-kritische Ausgabe, vol. 1/1, Aufsätze und Rezensionen, 1844–1848, ed. Dietmar Strauß (Vienna: Böhlau, 1993), 285. ↑
- Werner Sauer, Österreichische Philosophie zwischen Aufklärung und Restauration: Beiträge zur Geschichte des Frühkantianismus in der Donaumonarchie (Amsterdam: Rodopi, 1982); Harald Haslmayr, “Geistige Hintergründe des Biedermeier,” in The Other Vienna: The Culture of Biedermeier Austria; Österreichisches Biedermeier in Literatur, Musik, Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, ed. Robert Pichl, Clifford A. Bernd, and Margarete Wagner, Sonderpublikationen der Grillparzer-Gesellschaft 5 (Vienna: Lehner, 2002), 285–96; Violetta L. Waibel, ed., Detours: Approaches to Immanuel Kant in Vienna, in Austria, and in Eastern Europe (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2015), part 1. ↑
- Robert Zimmermann, Philosophische Propaedeutik, 2nd ed. (Vienna: Wilhelm Braumüller, 1860). ↑
- On the subjects taught in these courses, see: Waltraud Heindl, Gehorsame Rebellen: Bürokratie und Beamte in Österreich, vol. 1, 1780 bis 1848, 2nd ed., Studien zur Politik und Verwaltung 36 (Vienna: Böhlau, 2013), 139–43. ↑
- Eitelberger’s original wording: “nirgends mit den bestehenden Konfessionen oder politischen Staatsordnungen in Konflikt gekommen.” Hans Lentze, Die Universitätsreform des Ministers Graf Leo Thun-Hohenstein (Vienna: Böhlau, 1962), 251. Cf.: Taras von Borodajkewycz, “Aus der Frühzeit der Wiener Schule der Kunstgeschichte: Rudolf Eitelberger und Leo Thun,” in Festschrift für Hans Sedlmayr, ed. Karl Oettinger and Mohammed Rassem (Munich: C.H. Beck, 1962), 335. ↑
- On the problems preceding Eitelberger’s appointment—intensified by his liberal agenda—which had been initially rejected in 1851, and the respective intervention of Thun, see: Matthew Rampley, “The Idea of a Scientific Discipline: Rudolf von Eitelberger and the Emergence of Art History in Vienna, 1847–1873,” Art History 34, no. 1 (2011): 61; and his The Vienna School of Art History: Empire and the Politics of Scholarship, 1847–1918 (University Park: Pennsylvania University Press, 2013), 15–18. ↑
- Geoffrey Payzant, “Eduard Hanslick’s Vom Musikalisch-Schönen: A pre-publication excerpt,” Music Review 46 (1985): 179–85. Cf.: Strauß, VMS Teil 2, 66. ↑
- Strauß, “Hanslicks Schriften 1844–1854,” 291. ↑
- At this point, Payzant’s rendition of the text is extremely misleading. Payzant translates: “The double requirement of a strictly scientific framework and the most elaborate casuistics makes the task a very formidable but not quite insurmountable one: to strive for the ideal of an ‘exact’ science of music after the model of chemistry or of physiology.” However, Hanslick holds the opposite opinion: this task can be achieved unless (“es wäre denn”) the goal is an ‘exact’ science of music. Cf.: Wilfing, “Tonally Moving Forms,” chap. 5. ↑
- According to Hanslick’s memoires, the move to the Thun Ministry was initiated by art historian Gustav von Heider (1819–97): Aus meinem Leben, ed. Peter Wapnewski (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1987), 128. ↑
- Karnes, Modern Musical Thought, 22 and 34. ↑
- Original wording: “als bestimmt aufzustellen, was schön sei, für alle Zeit und an jedem Ort.” Robert Zimmermann, “Die spekulative Aesthetik und die Kritik,” Oesterreichische Blätter für Literatur und Kunst 6 (1854): 40. ↑
- Johannes Feichtinger, “Positivismus in der österreichischen Philosophie: Ein historischer Blick auf die frühe Positivismusrezeption,” Spezialforschungsbereich Moderne: Wien und Zentraleuropa um 1900 7, no. 2 (2004). ↑
- Johannes Feichtinger, Wissenschaft als reflexives Projekt: Von Bolzano über Freud zu Kelsen; Österreichische Wissenschaftsgeschichte, 1848–1938 (Bielefeld: transcript, 2010), 139. ↑
- Franz Karl Lott, “Zweckmäßigkeit und Bedürfnis des Unterrichts über Ästhetik und Geschichte der Musik an der Universität,” Mitteilungen der österreichischen Gesellschaft für Musikwissenschaft 28 (1995): 42–47. ↑
- Hanslick, Aus meinem Leben, 177. ↑
- On Hanslick’s relations to Franz Serafin Exner, see: Kurt Blaukopf, “Eduard Hanslick, Guido Adler und die empiristische Tradition der Musikforschung in Österreich,” Österreichische Musikzeitschrift 47, no. 12 (1992): 714; Stachel, Ethnischer Pluralismus, 343; Payzant, Sixteen Lectures, 130–31; Grimm, Prager Zeit, 141–42; Landerer, Hanslick und Bolzano, 37–43. ↑
- Ibid., 31. Helfert is hardly mentioned in the literature on Hanslick’s personal relations at the Thun Ministry. He was provisional leader of the ministry for a short period after Thun (1860–61) and might have been one of the key figures behind the promotion of Hanslick’s petition. On Helfert as a member of the Prague ‘Davidsbund,’ see: Bonnie Lomnäs, Erling Lomnäs, and Dietmar Strauß, Auf der Suche nach der poetischen Zeit: Der Prager Davidsbund; Ambros, Bach, Bayer, Hampel, Hanslick, Helfert, Heller, Hock, Ulm. Zu einem vergessenen Abschnitt der Musikgeschichte des 19. Jahrhunderts, 2 vols. (Saarbrücken: Pfau, 1999). ↑
- Landerer, Hanslick und Bolzano, chap. 3. Cf.: Payzant, Sixteen Lectures, 129–42. For biographical information on Hanslick’s early days in Prague, see: Jitka Ludvová, “Zur Biographie Eduard Hanslicks,” Studien zur Musikwissenschaft 37 (1986): 37–46; and her “Einige Prager Realien zum Thema Hanslick,” in Antonicek, Gruber, and Landerer, Hanslick zum Gedenken, 163–80. ↑
- See Hanslick’s letter to Vesque von Püttlingen from December 12, 1851: Wienbibliothek im Rathaus, Handschriftensammlung I, HIN 31038. Cf.: Strauß, VMS Teil 2, 74. ↑
- Wilfing, “Richard Wagner in Hanslicks Schriften,” 161–62; and his “Hanslicks Rezeption,” 12–13. ↑
- Hanslick, “Eindruck,” 177. ↑
- Payzant, “Excerpt,” 180. ↑
- Original wording: “es handle sich bei VMS nicht um eine einheitliche, geschlossene Schrift, sondern eher um eine Ansammlung essayistischer oder aphoristischer Gedanken, die um einen polemischen Hauptkern herum angeordnet worden seien.” Strauß, “Geburt der Ästhetik,” 394. ↑
- Dahlhaus added to this disparity regarding Hanslick’s excerpts by inverting the chronology and stating that the “first chapters had been published separately, before the others were written” (“die ersten Kapitel für sich publiziert worden sind, bevor die letzten geschrieben waren”). Carl Dahlhaus, Grundlagen der Musikgeschichte (Cologne: Hans Gerig, 1977), 198. ↑
- On the genesis of VMS and the general structure of Hanslick’s argument, see: Christoph Landerer, Alexander Wilfing, and Lee Rothfarb, “Origins, Publication, and Translation: History of the Treatise,” in Rothfarb and Landerer, A New Translation, xvi–xx. ↑
- Payzant, “Excerpt,” 182–83. ↑
- Strauß, VMS Teil 2, 76–77. ↑
- In Payzant’s translation, his very abstract reading of ‘Ton’ results in a rendering of “tönend bewegte Formen” as “tonally moving forms.” The adequacy of this translation is disputable, however, as ‘tönend’ obviously refers to more than just the structure of tonal positions in the context of Hanslick’s argument, with its primary meaning of ‘sounding’ being more central. For Payzant’s reading, see his Sixteen Lectures, 44–46; “Hanslick, Sams, Gay, and ‘Tönend Bewegte Formen’,” Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 40, no. 1 (1981): 44–47; and “Eduard Hanslick and the ‘geistreich’ Dr. Alfred Julius Becher,” Music Review 44 (1983): 107–12. ↑
- Payzant decided to present Hanslick’s comment in an appendix. ↑
- Bonds, Absolute Music, 162. ↑
- Cover picture of Eduard Hanslick by courtesy of Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Bildarchiv. ↑
This article deals with Eduard Hanslick’s aesthetic classic Vom Musikalisch-Schönen (“On the Musically Beautiful”), or VMS, regarding both the text itself and its most important contexts. We first give an overview of the history of relevant scholarship and relevant research perspectives and then sketch what we believe are the main current challenges of Hanslick scholarship: (a) an understanding of VMS as a fusion of different, often heterogeneous philosophical orientations and their embedment in political and institutional factors and (b) an understanding of VMS as a ‘dynamic text,’ that is, a text that develops out of pre-publications and evolves over the different editions and even chapters of the book, thus challenging traditional views of VMS as a monolithic, uniform text with a set of stable and determinable arguments. Rather than investigating ‘the’ aesthetics of VMS, Hanslick scholarship, we believe, needs to place more emphasis on how Hanslick’s argument develops over time and what factors are decisive for the many textual decisions that Hanslick made from the pre-publications of 1853 and 1854 up to the ‘final’ edition of 1902. Our approach integrates the older intellectual history approach and newer trends towards a broader contextualization and demonstrates how more information on the generic context of Hanslick’s aesthetic ideas can also shed light on the intellectual foundations of his treatise as well as on the development of his aesthetic positions.