This unit introduces students to the nature and development of aesthetics in Western art music. It covers the work of the classical theorists as well as that of more recent and contemporary scholars. The unit investigates the role of art theory (aesthetics) and its application to music, its historical development, and place within contemporary intellectual culture. Central questions in the unit relate to musical meaning and the creation of aesthetic value—What are the key themes and theories of aesthetics and criticism in general, and in music in particular? What is the relationship between music and the listener in various historical, social and cultural contexts?