Gebrauchsmusik | Musical Vocabulary Word



This recent term, for which “utility music” or “workday music” is occasionally used as a translation, denotes music which is designed for “practical use” by amateurs, in the homes or at informal gatherings, as opposed to music written “for its own sake” and designed chiefly to be used in concert performance by professionals or virtuosos. Characteristic traits of Gebrauchsmusik are: forms of moderate length; simplicity and clarity of style; small ensembles; avoidance of technical difficulties; parts of equal interest on whatever instruments are available; soberness and moderation of expression; emphasis on “good workmanship.”

Harvard Dictionary of Music 1958. Copyright by the president and fellows of Harvard college © 1944.


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