Music critic

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Music critic is the job title for a person who writes reviews and reviews e.g. B. written about instrumental and orchestral works , operas , operettas , musicals or other musical stage works or vocal and choral works as well as rock, pop or jazz and other related styles. These can be published in a specialist body as well as in daily or weekly newspapers, but also on radio or television or on the Internet . The training to become a music critic nowadays occasionally takes place as part of a degree in musicology , mostly in contact with various media.


In centuries past, music critics were not specially trained for this profession. As a rule, they were composers or musicians who, in addition to a great deal of experience in compositional technique and contemporary music, had a corresponding talent for writing. Since there were no phonographic recordings of musical works until the end of the 19th century, music critics were largely dependent on studying sheet music, scores and piano reductions to create the necessary basis in order to be able to judge a work correctly. Attending performances was also a part of it - however, especially in the first half of the 19th century, these were by no means as self-evident as one takes it for granted today. Nowadays, in addition to attending performances, the basis for evaluating musical works is of course also recordings of CDs and radio broadcasts on the basis of theoretically “reading” or practically performing score studies. A desirable, as extensive as possible knowledge or pronounced interest that goes far beyond "classical music" and covers all art areas and epochs ( literature , fine arts , politics , ethnology , film art or pop and their development from antiquity to the present) is not a prerequisite, but usually puts the published texts on a solid foundation.

The two specialist organs of the 19th century that specialized in music were the Allgemeine Musical Zeitung , published by the music publisher Breitkopf & Härtel , and the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, founded by Robert Schumann and Friedrich Wieck .

Well-known music critic of the 18th century

- with a literary dispute, they were pioneers of music criticism.

Well-known music critic of the 19th century

Well-known music critics of the 20th century

Music criticism in satire

In his song Der Musikkritiker, the cabaret artist Georg Kreisler scrutinized the profession in a satirical way, as the text says that you don't need to know anything about music, but that you can earn profitable money by writing about music and musicians.

See also


Individual evidence

  1. Definition on Duden-Online , accessed on November 18, 2018