Filmmusik: Spuren des musikalischen Autonomiegedankens 49 Abstract The notion that flm music has to meet criteria derived from autonomous music and thus is independent from visual parts of flms has been established in parts of musi-cology and popular belief in the 20th century. This article deals with the question which circumstances helped to promote this notion. It will be shown that normative contributions that, by referring to principles of montage of image and music, em-phasized the importance of music’s immanent meaning for the aesthetics of flm music have been largely infuential on the discourse on the functionality of flm mu-sic. Especially the positions of considerable theorists like Theodor W. Adorno and Hanns Eisler, which at the same time devalued concepts proposed by experimental flm directors that promoted tight relations between image and music, were widely adapted and replicated in German-speaking areas. By indirectly asking for a music that is autonomous from images, these views seemed to affrm conventions which had been established early: the application of formerly autonomous classical-romantic music to early movies and the later work of established composers in the flm industry suggested applying similar autonomous principles on the analysis of flm music as in absolute music. In this way, aesthetic ideas that root in the 19th cen-tury were transferred to the new medium.