The Critique of Pure Music: English Edition

This unique and historic English Edition of Dr. Oskar Adler’s “The Critique of Pure Music: English Edition” was translated by Michaela Meiser of Austria, and Edited with Amy Shapiro, of the USA, also Adler’s biographer.

Dr. Oskar Adler (1875-1955), of Vienna, Austria, was a physician, esoteric scholar, 1st violin of the Adler Quartet, and Arnold Schoenberg’s first music teacher and lifelong friend. Adler’s timeless reflections serve as a healing balm in our stormy times. As he writes (Ch. 2, “Essence and Origin of Music,” p. 116): “Life means to understand the eternal “Now” within oneself. Any living being that is not “living in the now,” does not live but is being lived. To live in the now is only possible through the inner rhythm of time – through synthesizing the perfect contradiction of unreal and real, the gnostic expression of which is becoming. Our living self is thus captured in its innermost core through the art of music, as the art of pure becoming, thus the art of being utterly alive.”


Composer Reese Scott describes it as “a phenomenon of a unique time – the interface of the old European world with the 20th century –especially keenly felt in Vienna. It interfaces music, spirituality, anthropology, astrology, number and psychology, and transcends time in a way unique to Adler. It’s a curious combination of pure sincerity mixed with relentless pedantry –he dishes out intuitions and ideas with no apology and talks about music’s spiritual basis, as if it were a touching prayer. The primary force behind Adler’s unique ideas is cosmic and esoteric. His work is deeply steeped in many traditions, and yet full of odd eccentricities, as shown by his unusual nomenclature for modal scales, his ideas on music and triangles, and his cosmic symbolism reminiscent of much older authors, such as Kepler.”

Prof. Dr. Alfred Pfabigan of Philosophical Practice Märzstraße, Vienna writes, “Austrian Intellectual History research owes great thanks to the editor and translator of Oskar Adler’s book. Not only that much of this lost work is still valid today, it also offers an inside look into the way of thinking as articulated in the legendary “Fin de siècle – Vienna” and which surely – unnoticed by research – also emanated to Adler’s pupils, as for example Schönberg.”

Available on Amazon worldwide:

The Critique of Pure Music: English Edition

Bilingual English-German:
The Critique of Pure Music: Die Kritik der Reinen Musik