In his youth, Friedrich Nietzsche yearned to become a great composer and wrote many pieces of music. He later claimed to be "the most musical of all philosophers." Yet most books on Nietzsche fail to explore the importance of music for his thought. Nietzsche and Music provides the first in-depth examination of the fundamental significance of music for Nietzsche's life and work.
As Georges Liébert convincingly demonstrates, Nietzsche's views on music are essential for understanding his philosophy as a whole. His study surveys Nietzsche's opinions about particular composers and compositions, as well as his more theoretical writings on music and its relation to the other arts. He also explores Nietzsche's listening habits, his playing and style of composition, and his many contacts in the musical world, including his controversial and contentious relationship with Richard Wagner. For Nietzsche, music gave access to a realm of wisdom that transcended thought. Music was Nietzsche's great solace; in his last years, it was his refuge from madness. Nietzsche and Music is a virtuoso exploration of this little-known but crucial aspect of his life and work.
University of Chicago Press