Finding 'truth' or 'beauty' in music                          A Heideggerian approach on music


Is 'enjoying art' about "beautiful" or "truth"? Don't go for beauty, go for essence and truth because beauty will be the result.

Martin Heidegger, one of the most debated philosophers from the 20th century. A brilliant teacher, a genius thinker, a writer who invented many words and last but not least, a very active member of the NSDAP during the second world war.

Most of the times people go to a museum or a concert and one always
hear how beautiful it was. What makes people use that word if
sometimes the art is not meant to be beautiful at all?

Beauty is something that attracts us. I don't think that something has
to be always pleasant in order for it to be attractive. As Heidegger
wrote in his 'on the origin of work of art':

"Until now art presumably has had to do with the beautiful and beauty,

and not with truth."

Before we continue with our story we have to define the words 'Beauty'
and 'Truth'. The meaning behind these words are extremely subjective
and defer from person to person. But in my opinion it means:
Beauty is something that is 'attractive'

Truth is something that 'makes sense'
Some parts in Beethoven are not beautiful at all, the motives can be
rather abstract if one looks at his motives closely. But people see it
as beautiful because it leaves an impression on them. What this
impression is can be many things, one can be shocked, moved, happy and
sad but still they say: 'That is a beautiful piece'.

If someone can say that something is beautiful even though it is not
in it's essence, does that mean that this feeling from the person
comes from the agreeing with the art or artist?I think that when an performer or artists just plays to find the beauty, in the way that everything has the be gorgeous, in a piece it
will loose a lot of contrasts and will eventually make the beautiful
spots less beautiful. When the performer can find the essence and the
truth in all it's affects and characters, the art becomes much more


By Willy Pragher (Landesarchiv Baden-W├╝rttenberg) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons