home > Culture


2019-07-02 20:07:02

Tonkunst, literally "The Art of Tone", is an obsolete term in the German language applied for art music of the 19th century, and often used in music history and musical aesthetic representations.[1] It probably originated from the need to give the music a place among the classical arts like architecture, sculpture, painting, prose and poetry, and also recognize the composer or musician as a creative individual. The term is found for example in the inscriptions of the Walhalla memorial built in 1842,[2] where a good example is Joseph Haydn, titled as "Doctor der Tonkunst" ("Doctor of Tone-Art"), and Ludwig van Beethoven as "Tondichter" ("Tone-poet"). Today the term is rarely used, but lives on, for example, in the name of the Tonkünstler Orchestra.


  1. ^ Weber, William, The Musician As Entrepreneur, 1700-1914: Managers, Charlatans, and Idealists, p. 87, Indiana University Press (2004), ISBN 0253344565
  2. ^ Karnes, Kevin, Music, Criticism, and the Challenge of History: Shaping Modern Musical Thought in Late Nineteenth-Century Vienna, p. 176, Oxford University Press (2008), ISBN 0195368665
  • This article is based on the translation of the corresponding article of the German . A list of contributors can be found there at the History section.