Music criticism

music criticmusic criticscriticscriticmusic writerrock criticCriticallycriticismmusicmusic reviews
The Oxford Companion to Music defines music criticism as 'the intellectual activity of formulating judgements on the value and degree of excellence of individual works of music, or whole groups or genres'.wikipedia
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Aesthetics of music

musical aestheticsmusic aestheticsaesthetics
In this sense, it is a branch of musical aesthetics.
However, many musicians, music critics, and other non-philosophers have contributed to the aesthetics of music.

Charles Avison

AVISON, CHARLES
The English composer Charles Avison (1709–1770) published the first work on musical criticism in the English language - an Essay on Musical Expression published in 1752.
He is most known for his 12 Concerti Grossi after Scarlatti and his Essay on Musical Expression, the first music criticism published in English.

François-Joseph Fétis

FétisFétis, François-JosephF.-J. Fétis
In subsequent years a number of regular journals dedicated to music criticism and reviews began to appear in major European centres, including The Harmonicon (London 1823-33), The Musical Times (London, 1844-date), the Revue et gazette musicale de Paris (Paris 1827-1880, founded by François-Joseph Fétis), the Berliner allgemeine musikalische Zeitung founded in 1825 by A.M. Schlesinger and edited by A. B. Marx, and the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik founded in 1834 in Leipzig by Robert Schumann and Friedrich Wieck, and later edited by Franz Brendel.
François-Joseph Fétis (25 March 1784 – 26 March 1871) was a Belgian musicologist, composer, teacher, and one of the most influential music critics of the 19th century.

Music journalism

music criticsmusic journalistmusic critic
Music journalism has its roots in classical music criticism, which has traditionally comprised the study, discussion, evaluation, and interpretation of music that has been composed and notated in a score and the evaluation of the performance of classical songs and pieces, such as symphonies and concertos.

The Oxford Companion to Music

Oxford Companion to MusicNew Oxford Companion to MusicThe New Oxford Companion to Music
The Oxford Companion to Music defines music criticism as 'the intellectual activity of formulating judgements on the value and degree of excellence of individual works of music, or whole groups or genres'.

Winton Dean

Dean, WintonDean, W.W. B. Dean
The musicologist Winton Dean has suggested that "music is probably the most difficult of the arts to criticize."

Plastic arts

plastic artistplastic artplastic
Unlike the plastic or literary arts, the 'language' of music does not specifically relate to human sensory experience - Dean's words, "the word 'love' is common coin in life and literature: the note C has nothing to do with breakfast or railway journeys or marital harmony."

Plato

Plato's dialoguesDialogues of PlatoPlatonic dialogues
Critical references to music (often deprecating performers or styles) can be found in early literature, including, for example, in Plato's Laws and in the writings of medieval music theorists.

Laws (dialogue)

LawsThe LawsPlato's ''Laws
Critical references to music (often deprecating performers or styles) can be found in early literature, including, for example, in Plato's Laws and in the writings of medieval music theorists.

Richard Taruskin

Taruskin, RichardTaruskin, R.Taruskin
According to Richard Taruskin, the active concert life of late 18th-century London meant that "the role and the function of arts criticism as we know it today were the creations of the English public."

Georg Philipp Telemann

TelemannTWVG. P. Telemann
However, the first magazines specifically devoted to music criticism seem to have developed in Germany, for example Georg Philipp Telemann's Der getreue Music-Meister (1728), which included publications of new compositions, and Der critische Musikus which appeared in Hamburg between 1737 and 1740.

Hamburg

Hamburg, GermanyFree and Hanseatic City of HamburgFree City of Hamburg
However, the first magazines specifically devoted to music criticism seem to have developed in Germany, for example Georg Philipp Telemann's Der getreue Music-Meister (1728), which included publications of new compositions, and Der critische Musikus which appeared in Hamburg between 1737 and 1740.

Querelle des Bouffons

guerre des bouffonsles BouffonsWar of the Buffoons
In France in the 1750s, the Querelle des Bouffons (the dispute between supporters of French and Italian opera styles as represented by Jean-Philippe Rameau and Jean-Baptiste Lully respectively) generated essays from Jean-Jacques Rousseau and others, including Denis Diderot's Rameau's Nephew (1761).

Jean-Philippe Rameau

RameauJean Philippe RameauRameau, Jean-Philippe
In France in the 1750s, the Querelle des Bouffons (the dispute between supporters of French and Italian opera styles as represented by Jean-Philippe Rameau and Jean-Baptiste Lully respectively) generated essays from Jean-Jacques Rousseau and others, including Denis Diderot's Rameau's Nephew (1761).

Jean-Baptiste Lully

LullyJean Baptiste LullyJean-Baptist Lully
In France in the 1750s, the Querelle des Bouffons (the dispute between supporters of French and Italian opera styles as represented by Jean-Philippe Rameau and Jean-Baptiste Lully respectively) generated essays from Jean-Jacques Rousseau and others, including Denis Diderot's Rameau's Nephew (1761).

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

RousseauJean Jacques RousseauJ.-J. Rousseau
In France in the 1750s, the Querelle des Bouffons (the dispute between supporters of French and Italian opera styles as represented by Jean-Philippe Rameau and Jean-Baptiste Lully respectively) generated essays from Jean-Jacques Rousseau and others, including Denis Diderot's Rameau's Nephew (1761).

Denis Diderot

DiderotDiderot, DenisDiderot of China
In France in the 1750s, the Querelle des Bouffons (the dispute between supporters of French and Italian opera styles as represented by Jean-Philippe Rameau and Jean-Baptiste Lully respectively) generated essays from Jean-Jacques Rousseau and others, including Denis Diderot's Rameau's Nephew (1761).

Rameau's Nephew

Le Neveu de Rameau
In France in the 1750s, the Querelle des Bouffons (the dispute between supporters of French and Italian opera styles as represented by Jean-Philippe Rameau and Jean-Baptiste Lully respectively) generated essays from Jean-Jacques Rousseau and others, including Denis Diderot's Rameau's Nephew (1761).

Palestrina

PraenestePrince of PalestrinaPreneste
In it, Avison claims that since the time of Palestrina and Raphael, music had improved in status whilst pictorial art had declined.

Raphael

Raphael SanzioRaffaello SanzioRaffaello
In it, Avison claims that since the time of Palestrina and Raphael, music had improved in status whilst pictorial art had declined.

George Frideric Handel

HandelGeorg Friedrich HändelHändel
However, he believes that George Frideric Handel is too much concerned with naturalistic imitation than with expression, and criticises the habit, in Italian operas, of 'that egregious absurdity of repeating, and finishing many songs with the first part; when it often happens, after the passions of anger and revenge have been sufficiently expressed, that reconcilement and love are the subjects of the second, and, therefore, should conclude the performance.' Typically until the late eighteenth century music criticism centred on vocal rather than instrumental music - "vocal music ... was the apex of [the] aesthetic hierarchy. One knew what music was expressing."

Italian opera

ItalianVenetian operaItalian grand operas
However, he believes that George Frideric Handel is too much concerned with naturalistic imitation than with expression, and criticises the habit, in Italian operas, of 'that egregious absurdity of repeating, and finishing many songs with the first part; when it often happens, after the passions of anger and revenge have been sufficiently expressed, that reconcilement and love are the subjects of the second, and, therefore, should conclude the performance.' Typically until the late eighteenth century music criticism centred on vocal rather than instrumental music - "vocal music ... was the apex of [the] aesthetic hierarchy. One knew what music was expressing."

Romanticism

RomanticRomantic movementRomantic era
The last years of the eighteenth century reflected both a change of patronage of music from the aristocracy to the rising middle-classes and the rise of Romanticism in the arts.

E. T. A. Hoffmann

E.T.A. HoffmannHoffmannErnst Theodor Amadeus Hoffmann
Prominent amongst these was E. T. A. Hoffmann, who wrote in 1809 That instrumental music has now risen to a level of which one probably had no inkling not long ago, and that the symphony, especially following...Haydn and Mozart, has become the ultimate form of instrumental music - the opera of instruments, as it were - all this is well-known to every music-lover.

Symphony

symphoniessymphonicsymphonic works
Prominent amongst these was E. T. A. Hoffmann, who wrote in 1809 That instrumental music has now risen to a level of which one probably had no inkling not long ago, and that the symphony, especially following...Haydn and Mozart, has become the ultimate form of instrumental music - the opera of instruments, as it were - all this is well-known to every music-lover.