Art music is a jurisdictional concept of musical styles, the one ( European) civilization should be attributed, in contrast to other forms of music with specific features - be regarded as autonomous art - about the program music or dance music. Due to the development of the concept of art, it is bounded away from the folk music and the music of subcultures. In contrast to the term sometimes used synonymously serious music, which is to be distinguished from light music, the emphasis is therefore on the artistic and cultural demands of a work.
Until about the 19th century, art music can be quite clear as to outline the music of the upper social strata, satisfies the court or church functions. The autonomy claim comes up with the upheavals of the 18th and 19th century, in which the rising bourgeoisie formed their own art and music institutions that are carriers of the relevant art music. In the 20th century the distinction with increasing pluralization of society is difficult. The formerly the concept of art music supporting, clearly concluded social circles dissolve, while the opening cultural (educational) offer broader social layers allowed access to all sides of the music business. In the wake of competing avant-gardes of the concept of art falls into the dispute between a classical academic opinion and a belief in progress, culminating in Adorno's " Canon of the Forbidden One". Although the music is already written plural in the beginning of the avant-garde itself, breaks at the beginning of the 1970s finally the idea together, art music run through a linear progressive movement ( postmodernism discussion). At the same time, all Western music genres from jazz to heavy metal are differentiated by their fixation and distribution in sound recordings to an extent, what previously seemed possible only in the recorded concert music. A clear separation in art music attributable music and music without such a claim is made more difficult by Art hopeless. In analogy to the visual arts and its main trends since the 1970s ( Pop Art, Conceptual Art, discharges from the readymade idea such as " Relational Art"), it can be assumed that the term can in fact no longer limited to follow developments of the bourgeois concert music.
The artistic and cultural value of a work is not only since the end of serialism difficult to measure objectively. Generally binding criteria for art music such as exact definition in notation (similar craft criteria in painting ) can no longer be set up because most significant of which has become art, for example, work with aleatoric or improvisation, are commonly reckoned to art music without even exhibit uniform formal characteristics ( John Cage's 4'33 " is the most famous extreme example ). It is increasingly no longer possible " to refer to material properties that define a clearly defined sphere of music. In the same way, therefore, as the concept art raises the question 'What is art? ', evokes the new music, the question 'What is music? <. "
This would be a problem, now would not raise claims to art that no longer can be rejected on the basis of formal aesthetic criteria other genres. This was at first primarily in the jazz of the case, and peaked at individual representatives of virtually all genres, which differentiated regardless of the new music on the foundations of their respective field, creating innovative and highly individual works. The already questionable exclusion criterion of functionality (eg dance music) no longer applies here. The new music is attributable largely as a reference in the other branches of the arts, what on society as a whole re-evaluation of what is considered high culture or art, suggesting. Could be about Thomas Bernhard and Gerhard Richter still refer to this, the music reference is among artists of younger generations such as Andreas Gursky, Wolfgang Tillmans, and Rainald Goetz techno.
If, after Pierre Bourdieu 's artistic rank of the ability of self- classification in the existing artistic field, the current new music defines itself in the wake of the dissolution of boundaries described now primarily institutional. With its focus on training paths ( Studying at established professorships in the composer), prizes, festivals and commissioned works its criteria, it seems to be only academic. Similarly, the classification of the GEMA works in the categories of " E" and " U" is done primarily by the performance venue, and cohesion.
The stand-alone contemporary music genres competing institutions have trained, including a music criticism, the controversy over the art monopoly of new music is performed almost exclusively in accessing subsidy funds, based on the argument of a cultural special position. Was also defends a subsidy monopoly of new music having regard to the existence of a culture industry that brought about by the digitization upheavals have a majority of genres withdrawn a substantial part of the economic basis, so that by an industry can hardly be any question. Under these economic conditions, the term of art music comes under renewed pressure since now representative of all genres have to argue either a special status or special social relevance to be considered in support measures. Conversely, the organizer of institutional art music festivals wearing reinforced the perception statement that the assessment of what is art music has shifted strongly socially and run profiled musicians with non- academic background on. The demarcation difficulties shifting of direction by discussions within the new music to a direct competition of different genres.