Friedrich Nietzsche, Human All Too Human (Menschliches, Allzumenschliches), subtitled A Book for Free Spirits (Ein Buch für freie Geister).

First published in 1878.   A second part, Assorted Opinions and Maxims (Vermischte Meinungen und Sprüche), was published in 1879, and a third part, The Wanderer and his Shadow (Der Wanderer und sein Schatten), followed in 1880.

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MUSIC.  In and of itself, music is not so full of meaning for our inner life, so profoundly moving, that it can claim to be a direct language of emotion.  Rather, it is its ancient connection to poetry that has invested rhythmical movement, loudness and softness of tone, with so much symbolism that we now believe music is speaking directly to the inner life and that it comes out of it.  Dramatic music is possible only when the art of music has already conquered an enormous realm of symbolic techniques through song, opera, and hundreds of attempts at tone painting.  "Absolute music" is either pure form, in the raw state of music, where sounds in rhythm and at various volumes are enough to give joy; or else it is the symbolism of forms that, without poetry, can speak to our understanding (since, after the two arts had undergone a long development together, musical form was finally woven through and through with threads of concepts and feelings).  Men who have lagged behind in the development of music can experience a particular piece of music in a purely formal way, while the more advanced will understand the whole thing symbolically.  No music is in itself deep and full of meaning.  It does not speak of the "will" or the "thing in itself”.  Only in an age that had conquered the entire sphere of inner life for musical symbolism could the intellect entertain this idea.  The intellect itself has projected this meaning into the sound, as it has also read into the relationship of lines and masses in architecture a meaning that is, however, actually quite foreign to mechanical laws.  

Friedrich Nietzsche, "Ecce Homo" Ebook

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