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Absolute MusicThe History of an Idea$
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Mark Evan Bonds

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199343638

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199343638.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Absolute Music

Mark Evan Bonds

Oxford University Press

What is music and why does it move us? From antiquity to the present, writers have answered these questions in many ways, but they have almost always treated them in tandem, for how we identify the essence of music—what it is—inevitably shapes our accounts of its effect—what it does—and vice versa. We cannot, after all, explain how music works without first establishing its identity, which is to say, without first conceiving of it in isolation, apart from all else, consisting only of itself....

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