Value here becomes relativized according to the familiar patterns of historicism;
and the value of music is then revealed when a larger, totalizing historical reconstruction of this kind allows us to read it as a fundamental expression of this or that basic cultural type. (It is not of any particular significance in the present
context that Spengler also includes an ideological evaluation of those cultural
types, the Faustian temporal dynamism of the West-including music above
all!-being clearly for him "superior" to the spatial and Apollonian mode of
Greek culture.)

The Frankfurt School, and most notably Adorno himself, sought escape from
this kind of relativism by appealing to a Hegelian conception of aesthetic or formal self-consciousness. The utopian principle of value for these writers lies in
freedom itself and in the conception of music as "the enemy of fate." Yet
Adorno's other principle of evaluation is that of technical mastery, in which the
superiority of a Schoenberg over a Hindemith, say, or a Sibelius, lies in the former's will to draw the last objective consequences from the historical state in
which he found his own raw materials. These two principles, however, are capable, at certain moments in history, of entering into contradiction with one
another, and not least, for Adorno, in the supreme moment of the achievement
of the twelve-tone system itself:

"This technique ... approaches the ideal of mastery as domination,
the infinity of which resides in the fact that nothing heteronomous
remains which is not absorbed into the continuum of the technique. It
is, however, the suppressing moment in the domination of nature, which suddenly turns against subjective autonomy and freedom itself, in the name of which this domination found its fulfillment."