Conceptions of music in Goethe's time and music in Goethe's Faust
This thesis investigates the nature of Goethe's thought on music, against the background of some attitudes to music current in the eighteenth century; and on this basis offers an interpretation of Goethe's use of music and allusions to music in literature, especially in Faust. The introduction surveys work done both by musicologists and by literary critics. There is plenty of information on Goethe from both sources; but critical assessment has been hampered by lack of an adequate framework. It is suggested here that we should examine Goethe's work in the light of an eighteenth-century tendency to think of music 'metaphorically' - i.e. by analogy with something else. The main part of the thesis examines the principal analogies current in Goethe's time; showing how Goethe understood music through each, and how he used the resulting symbolic associations with music in his literary work, especially in Faust. The first section examines some broad general conceptions of music; following sections deal with specific ideas of the structure of music, of its relation to movement and dance, and of its relation to language. The final section examines conceptions of music which appear to combine several of these ideas. The conclusion suggests that Goethe is most fruitfully compared with Herder and Schiller in his conceptions and use of music. He drew considerably on the structure and forms, on the tonal and rhythmic expressiveness of music as he understood them, to increase the resources of expression and form at his disposal, and to find analogies through which, in Faust as elsewhere, he made some of his most complex statements about man, Nature and art.