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Instrumental music that is free of any explicit verbal reference or program.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
(Music, other) music that is not designed to depict or evoke any scene or event. Compare programme music
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
absolute music, abstract music, pure music - Absolute music (abstract music, pure music) is music for its own sake—concerned only with structure, melody, harmony, and rhythm.
See also related terms for melody.
Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.
Music free of all reference to anything outside the essential nature of the music. The listener’s attention is not distracted by lyric or association, and can therefore focus entirely on the beauty of the music itself.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited