Abstract

Although Thomas Arne (1710–78) was the greatest native-born English composer of his day, today he is largely forgotten. Arne's loss of reputation can be traced to the lasting effect on nineteenth-century critical aesthetics of the eighteenth-century distinction between the beautiful and the sublime as applied to music. Critics and audiences regarded Arne in aesthetic terms as an exemplar of the musically beautiful during his lifetime and long after; however, they regarded Handel as exemplifying the musical sublime, the highest peak to which music could ascend, and this aesthetic hierarchy persisted well into the nineteenth century.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-315X
Print ISSN
0013-2586
Pages
pp. 529-555
Launched on MUSE
2009-07-11
Open Access
No
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