Abstract In modern interdisciplinary approaches, music is considered as a special language, and a piece of music as a text, the units of which have semantic significance. A musical text can unfold in two fundamentally different modes of representation: centrifugal and centripetal. In the first case, tendencies to the dissolution of meaning in the flow of variations come to the fore, to bring it out of a stable and self-identical state, to go beyond its own boundaries up to the erasure of the latter. In the second case, there is a focus on isolating invariant structures that are characterized by a clear definiteness and stability, existing outside the constant movement of variations. Without resorting to verbal language, music by its own means is capable of expressing not only the emotional, but also the intellectual sphere of human existence: religious, mystical and philosophical ideas can become the main content of a musical work. In particular, this aspect of the musical content has received a vivid and multifaceted embodiment in the music of Alfred Schnittke, whose works are characterized by a deep philosophical orientation. musical styles and directions of different eras - from baroque and classicism to the latest avant-garde developments, from academic rigor to banality. The conceptual and emotional content of Schnittke's music is no less striking: here you can find ideas of Christian and Eastern philosophy, existentialism and postmodernism, and in terms of drama and lyricism, the composer's works are comparable to Shakespeare's tragedies and Dostoevsky's novels.