Theodor Adorno noted the difficulty of creating new art that can be beautiful in a truthful way, eschewing any response to musical modernity that would move quickly beyond bewilderment to something easily assimilable as traditionally beautiful. For Jean-François Lyotard the arts for the last century have no longer been concerned primarily with the beautiful but rather with a renewed concept of the sublime. This contrasts strikingly with Helmut Lachenmann’s revalorization of beauty that is not merely the recycling of convention. Beginning from these paradigmatic positions, a range of modern and contemporary musical works is considered in the course of the chapter.