The Purpose of Music Critique
Means of the Music Critique
Stimulating the Musical-Analytical Thinking
Good Music Critique
Requirements for the Music Critic
The Basis of Successful Music Critique
Music critique is the critical strife for the knowledge hidden in music.
The purpose of music critique is to awaken, or to deepen, the interest of the reader for a particular piece of music, or to keep the general interest for music alive in the population.
As a means of its critical investigation music critique employs the word in its spoken or written form. The obstacle, which music critique therefore imposes upon itself, is the fact that the sounding musical event, or even the music itself, can only vaguely be described by the words of our colloquial language, but cannot possibly be represented satisfactorily.
Through the meaning of words, the competent music critic can at least draw the music listener's attention to certain elements of a musical work and, thereby, to some extent stimulate the listener's musical-analytical thinking, thus facilitating his access to the musical truth.
Good music critique describes the inner world of the musical sound-space with words in a clear and very sensitive manner be it regarding a piece of music in general, or the success of a specific musical performance.
Music critique, therefore, demands a high degree of self- discipline from the critic himself; because a music critic not only must have an outstanding music-professional qualification, but also a completely neutral human attitude towards what he describes because any sort of emotional outburst, be it positive or negative, is far from the true understanding of music.
"One shall speak the truth and thereby not waste words."
In the genuine comprehension and discussion of music, feeling and understanding are so highly coordinated and harmonically interwoven that any assessment which is exclusively dominated by the understanding, but also any statement overcharged with emotions, cannot but lead the reader away from the essence of music.
Successful music critique always has its basis in the deep love of music on the part of the music critic himself in his profound understanding of music, in his clear knowledge about the process of creating music, and furthermore in his practice-related expertise on the possibilities of how to realize musical ideas.
"Without fantasy no art and, indeed,
not even science,
and consequently also no critique."
© AAR EDITION INTERNATIONAL 1982