instrumental music, as a concerto or string quartet, that draws no inspiration from or makes no reference to a text, program, visual image, or title and that exists solely in terms of its musical form, structure, and elements.
- Also called abstract music .
- Compare program music.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use absolute music in a sentence
The good wife breathed deeply, and went on with her work, sending out absolute music from her needles.Silent Struggles | Ann S. Stephens
Therefore, discarding critical crutches, it is best to hear the composition primarily as absolute music.Franz Liszt | James Huneker
In other words—not Wagner's—dance approaches speech from one side just as absolute music does from the other.Richard Wagner His Life and His Dramas | W. J. Henderson
For that they praised him, as if it were a sine qua non of absolute music that it should be in the sonata form.How Music Developed | W. J. Henderson
The tendency of composers of absolute music at present is to make less and less use of the strict classic forms.How Music Developed | W. J. Henderson
British Dictionary definitions for absolute music
music that is not designed to depict or evoke any scene or event: Compare programme music
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012