Melody According to Hegel

“Harmony comprises only the essential proportions constituting the necessary law for the world of notes; yet, as little as the beat, bar and rhythm, are they already in themselves music proper, for, on the contrary, they are only the substantive basis, the ground and soil which conforms to law and on which the soul expatiates in its freedom. The poetic element in music, the language of the soul, which pours out into the notes the inner joy and sorrow of the heart, and in this outpouring mitigates and raises above the natural force of feeling by turning the inner life’s present transports into an apprehension of itself, into a free tarrying with itself, and by liberating the heart in this way from the pressure of joys and sorrows –– this free sounding of the soul in the field of music –– this is alone melody” (Hegel 1975b: 929-30).