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date: 23 February 2020

Eitner, Robertlocked

  • Alec Hyatt King


(b Breslau [now Wrocław], Oct 22, 1832; d Templin, Feb 2, 1905). German editor and bibliographer. Self-taught in music, Eitner established himself at Berlin in 1853 as a music teacher and also became known as a composer. In 1863 he founded a practical music school, but soon became interested in historical research and in 1867 received a prize from the Amsterdam Maatschappij tot Bevorderung der Toonkunst for compiling in manuscript the Lexikon der holländischen Tondichter. Turning to a wider field of musical scholarship, Eitner founded the Gesellschaft für Musikforschung in 1868 (among the first of its kind anywhere) and became its president and secretary. In 1869 he established and edited the Monatshefte für Musikgeschichte as the society's journal and followed this in 1873 with the Publikation Älterer Praktischer und Theoretischer Musikwerke, consisting largely of unpublished early music, which ran to 29 volumes during the next 32 years.

Eitner realized the importance of systematic collection of information about the sources of musical history and made them available in published catalogues. In his own words, ‘Die Musik-Bibliographie ist die Grundlage alles historischen Wissens’. In ...

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