Eduard Hanslick, "A Formalist Theory of Sound in Motion: from The Beautiful in Music"

Subject: "the proposition that the feelings are the subject which music has to represent".

Claim: "Definite feelings and emotions are unsusceptible of being embodied in music."

Some principles employed:

Music is incapable of expressing definite ideas, therefore it is incapable of expressing definite emotions.

Which ideas can music express? Ideas of strength, motion, ratio; waxing and diminishing intensity, velocity, acceleration, complex and simple progression. Words like graceful, gentle, violent, vigorous, elegant, fresh apply.

If his argument is correct, why are people so moved by music?

Presents a situation in which different people listening to the same piece of instrumental music think different definite feelings are expressed by it. Claims that it doesn't make sense to talk about definite feelings being expressed when no one "really knows what is represented". "To 'represent' something is to exhibit it clearly, to set it before us distinctly."