Hegel and Music

The "Lessons on Aesthetics" are the result of notes taken by Hegel's students at the university lectures on aesthetics given by Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel in Heidelberg and Berlin between 1818 and 1829. 

For Hegel, music is one of the supreme points of art because if art tends by its essence to grasp the absolute in the sensible, and it is all the more perfect the more it tries to overcome it, then music is, from this point of view, one of the highest points of art. 

In essence it is one of those moments when it is possible to free oneself from the sensible

It is the subjective that becomes form and content in itself. 

Hegel says that with music the overcoming of spatiality takes place. 

With music, the sensible renounces its static nature and starts moving, it vibrates and produces sound. 

Sound is precisely the material of music, it is a "non-material materiality", because, says Hegel "it is eliminated in its own rising". 

This means that as soon as the ear has picked up the sound, it is extinguished, internalized, it passes from outside to inside, from space to time of consciousness. 

In other words, sound disappears in music as an external element and immediately internalizes itself, as an echo that resounds in the depths of our soul. 

In music, says Hegel, it is "the most intimate self" that resounds, not objectivity. 

This is why music is the art of the soul, which turns in itself. 

The sound of music releases the ideal from its imprisonment in the material.

Hegel says: "Music essentially grasps spiritual subjectivity in its immediate subjective unity." 

From this point of view, music is the place where the sensible tends to outdo itself: it gets away precisely when it gives itself. 

Music is a tension between the sensible and the supersensible or, more precisely, it is the presence of a spatiality that becomes temporality, an exteriority that is internalized at the precise moment in which it is performed. 

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