Rudolf Steiner was aware that the classical-romantic era of music marked the end of a great epoch and that from the beginning of the twentieth century the tide had turned in radical ways. His suggestions and statements about music remained fragmentary, probably at least partly because they were incomprehensible to most of the musicians and composers around him who still lived strongly in the music of the nineteenth century.
This upheaval required and still requires continual preoccupation with the fundamental and archetypal elements of music, the single tone and interval etc. Rudolf Steiner’s suggestions and statements on “melody in the single tone”, the “necessary expansion of our tone system”, or on the “intervals” shows his concern with a deeper experience of music, i.e. with penetrating into the qualities and active forces of music’s basic elements, in which the spiritual and cosmic can then come to active expression.
Steiner’s ideas and suggestions on the renewal of singing and instrumental playing, or in relation to new instruments, are also to be seen in this light. All this is predicated on complete individualisation – i.e. only what the individual musician has himself acquired of these objectively existing elements has weight and impact.
In the years after Rudolf Steiner’s death, numerous musicians and composers explored what one may, in this sense, call an anthroposophical music impulse – in singing and instrument building, composing and music theory, in therapy and education, and in music for religious worship.