Developments in the musical thought of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries highlight a significant shift in how the musical sublime was perceived and experienced. Whereas an earlier account of the sublime in music underlined the representation of natural magnitude and accentuated the musical expression of feelings that threaten the integration and stability of the subject, the new conception highlighted the subjective quality and the liberating aspects of sublime experience. This transformation not only influenced the perception of specific treatments of some musical elements but also introduced a novel conception of music per se. The modern (Kantian) understanding of the sublime was essential to the emergence of the Romantic idea of music as the sonorous embodiment of a free and infinite inner self.

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