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Sketch of a New Esthetic of Music
written by "Baker, Theodore"
...rk as in man himself; we admire technical achievements, yet they are outstripped, or cloy the taste and are discarded. Its ephemeral qualities give a work the stamp of “modernity;” its unchangeable essence hinders it from becoming “obsolete.” Among both “modern” and “old” works we find good and bad, genuine and spurious. There is nothing properly modern—only things which have come into being earlier or later; longer in bloom, or sooner withered. The Modern and the Old have always been. CHARACTERIZATION OF THE ARTS Art-forms are the more lasting, the more closely they adhere to the nature of their individual species of art, the purer they keep their essential means and ends. Sculpture relinquishes the expression of the human pupil, and effects of color; painting degenerates, when it forsakes the flat surface in depiction and takes on complexity in theatrical decoration or panoramic portrayal. Architecture has its fundamental form, growth from below upward, prescribed by static necessity; window and roof necessarily provide the intermediate and finishing configuration; these are eternal and inviolable requirements of the art. Poetry commands the abstract thought, which it clothes in words. More independent than the others, it reaches the furthest bounds. But all arts, resources and forms ever aim at the one end, namely, the imitation of nature and the interpretation of human feelings. *** Architecture, sculpture, poetry and painting are old and mature arts; their conceptions are established and their objects assured; they have found the way through uncounted centuries, and, like the planets, describe their regular orbits.[A] Music, compared with them, is a child that has learned to walk, but must still be led. It is a virgin art, without experience in life and suffering. It is all unconscious as yet of what garb is becoming, of its own advantages, its...

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