Ficker, Rudolf von
- Ian D. Bent
- , revised by Pamela M. Potter
(b Munich, June 11, 1886; d Igls, nr Innsbruck, Aug 2, 1954). Austrian musicologist of German birth. He studied musicology in Vienna with Adler, and composition in Munich with Thuille and Courvoisier, between 1905 and 1912, and took the doctorate at Vienna University in 1913 with a dissertation on the 16th-century Italian madrigal. In 1920 he completed the Habilitation and became a lecturer at Innsbruck University, and in 1923 was made reader. In 1927 he was appointed reader at Vienna, and co-director of the musicology department. In 1931 he succeeded Sandberger as professor and director of the musicology department at Munich, where he served as dean.
Ficker was an early champion of medieval music through his performances, editions and writings. He argued vigorously for its equality of artistic worth beside medieval painting and architecture, and indeed borrowed the terms ‘Romanesque’ and ‘Gothic’ from art history. He had a speculative turn of mind, and was greatly interested in psychological and anthropological matters, particularly as they applied to the origins of Western polyphony. His book, ...