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Music scholars and musicians classify instrumental music into two types absolute music and program music Absolute music and program music are opposing ideas in many aspects They present different concepts histories composers and genres In this paper I will describe the distinction between program music and absolute musicAbsolute music and program music present different concepts including different views on music Absolute music is a type of music that is strictly music without association It focuses on the structures of music and purity of music itself It does not contain a programmatic title or story The advocates of absolute music insist that the important element to enjoy the music is only sound of music and its understanding relies on its musical forms not on any narrative pictorial or other nonmusical ideas They tried to find the beauty of music in basic elements of music such as melodies harmonies and rhythms instead of contents and non-musical ideas For instance Beethovens Symphony No2 in D major is one of the absolute music It follows the strict structure of a traditional symphony without a programmatic title and narrative in the importance of structure On the contrary program music is a type of music that is inspired by non-musical ideas and contains a descriptive title It focuses on the contents of music and a narrative of music It represents extra-musical ideas in a mood narrative or pictorial image The advocates of program music insisted that composers needed to tell directly what the music means contents When we read books see paintings and listen to vocal music understanding the contents of these arts literary paintings and music would be easier than understanding an instrumental music This is because that the words explain what the authors painters and composers intensions are in the works However the instrumental music without words is not easy to understand the intension of the composers Musicians and audiences may understand the music in a different way
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