chapter  12
18 Pages

‘Where nature will speak to them in sacred sounds’: Music and Transcendence in Hoffmann’s Kreisleriana

Of the countless essays written on music in the nineteenth century, few are more famous than E.T.A. Hoffmann’s ‘Beethovens Instrumentalmusik’.3 Despite this

fame, the essay’s influence has waned in the two centuries since its publication. This is especially true in analytic philosophy of music, where one is hard pressed to find even a passing mention of Hoffmann’s work.4 Such neglect is unsurprising, given the metaphysical character of Hoffmann’s writings; proclamations that music reveals ‘infinity’, ‘an unknown realm’ and ‘the realm of the mighty and immeasurable’ sit uneasily with the ontological modesty characteristic of analytic philosophy of music.5