A History of Western Musical Aesthetics follows through the centuries debates about the place and function of music, the perceived role of music as a good or bad influence on the development of character, as a magical art or a domestic entertainment, and as a gateway to transcendental truths. Edward Lippman describes the beginnings of mu-sical tradition in the myths and philosophies of antiquity. He shows how music theory began to take on new dimensions and intensity in the seventeenth century, how musical esthetics was specifically defined and elaborated in the eighteenth century, and how, by the nineteenth century, music became the standard by which other arts were judged. The twentieth century added problems, pressure, and theories as music continued to diversify and as cultures viewed each other with more respect.
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Edward Lippman, professor emeritus of music at Columbia University, is the author of A Humanistic Philosophy of Music and many other works.
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