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Article

Howard Serwer

(b Halberstadt, Aug 31, 1739; d Halle, Jan 6, 1809). German aesthetician and philosopher. From 1756 to 1759 he studied theology at Halle before returning to Halberstadt as a private tutor. He was then appointed assistant pastor at the Hospitalkirche and vice-principal at the Martineum (Gymnasium). In 1763 he moved to Berlin, where he became part of the group that included Moses Mendelssohn, C.F. Nicolai, J.A. Sulzer and J.P. Kirnberger. In 1768 he was appointed pastor at the Berlin workhouse and during this period wrote Die neue Apologie des Socrates (1772), an attack on orthodox theology couched in terms of rationalistic Wolffian philosophy. In 1774 he became pastor at Charlottenburg and continued his theological work. His liberal views attracted the attention of Frederick the Great and led to his appointment as professor of philosophy at Halle in 1778. There he founded two philosophical journals that became the vehicles for his opposition to Kant. He wrote many handbooks and textbooks on philosophy and its history. From the 1780s he turned his attention to linguistic studies and aesthetics, several times taking up the topic of music....

Article

Kevin Mooney

(b Montjoie [now Monschau], Nov 11, 1777; d Krefeld, Nov 20, 1837). German acoustician. He was a silk manufacturer in Krefeld, and had a lifelong interest in acoustics. He is best known for his proposal to the Stuttgart Congress of Physicists in 1834 that the pitch a′ have a standard frequency of 440 Hz (this being the mean of contemporary Viennese pianos); a′ 440 has consequently been called ‘the Stuttgart pitch’. Scheibler also developed a ‘tonometer’ consisting of 52 tuning-forks, each tuned to beat about four times a second with its higher and lower neighbours (beat frequencies were first treated systematically by Sauveur in 1701); this apparatus, now lost, is described in his Der physikalische und musikalische Tonmesser (Essen, 1834). A 56-fork tonometer spanning the octave a=220 to a′=440 did survive and was described by Ellis (Helmholtz/Ellis, 1885).

Using the tonometer, Scheibler was able to manufacture tuning-forks for all 13 pitches in the equal tempered octave ...

Article

John Warrack

revised by James Deaville

(b Würzburg, May 28, 1780; d Würzburg, Jan 5, 1862). German teacher, musical organizer, critic, theorist, conductor and composer. He studied music at the student institute of the Juliusspital in Würzburg, and studied law and philosophy at the university there. In 1801 he began his career as a violinist in the prince-bishop’s court orchestra. He also founded the Akademische Bande, a student choral and orchestral group, which in 1804 became the Akademisches Musikinstitut and was made part of the university, thus becoming the basis of the first state music school in Germany. His teaching and organizational work was of the highest importance and encompassed several disciplines and activities. He became reader in aesthetics in 1812, reader in pedagogical studies in 1819 and professor in 1821. In 1820 a singing school was established as part of the institute. He also conducted important historical concerts for King Ludwig I in ...

Article

(b Stein, nr Krems, Jan 14, 1800; d Vienna, June 3, 1877). Austrian music historian. After graduating in law from the University of Vienna in 1827, Köchel and his friend Franz Freiherr Scharschmid von Adlertreu took over the education of the four sons of Archduke Karl; at the completion of his services in 1842, Köchel was recognized by the award of the Knight's Cross of the Order of Leopold. In 1850 Köchel was appointed k.k. Schulrat in Salzburg and Gymasialinspektor for Upper Austria, but he gave up this post after only two years. He returned to Vienna in 1863 and remained there until his death in 1877. Mozart's Requiem was performed at his funeral.

As an independent scholar of private means, Köchel published numerous articles on botany and mineralogy, as well as translations of Virgil, Ovid and Horace. His chief claim to fame, however, is his work on Mozart. He maintained close contact with the music establishment in Salzburg, even after ...

Article

Alfred Grant Goodman

(b Pyritz [now Pyrzyce, Poland], March 14, 1845; d Berlin, Nov 9, 1912). German musicologist. He studied music with Heinrich Bellermann, and history, at the University of Berlin (1863–70), taking the doctorate in 1870 with a dissertation on mensural notation in the 12th and 13th centuries; he completed the Habilitation in 1872 at the newly founded Strasbourg University and taught there as an external lecturer. In 1875 he was appointed reader and organized a department which included an extensive research library. At that time he was also conductor of the Akademische Gesangsverein and composed numerous a cappella works intended for liturgical as well as concert performance. From 1897 to 1905 he was professor of musicology, the only person to hold such a post at a German university at the time.

In his writings Jacobsthal concentrated mainly on the music of the Middle Ages; his chief work deals with chromatic alteration in Western chant. His studies of Palestrina's works reveal them as a source for German Romanticism and identify their value in the context of 16th-century polyphonic style. These ideas were not recognized until the 1920s, when they established a new musicological perspective. Jacobsthal developed an approach to musicology which used research methods from history and philology, thereby paving the way for the research of medieval music undertaken by his pupils Friedrich Ludwig and Peter Wagner....

Article

Dennis Libby

(b Naples, Sept 13, 1739; d Naples, May 10, 1826). Italian librarian, historian and composer. He studied law and also had lessons in singing, figured bass and counterpoint, including some from Durante and later (1761–7) Porpora. He graduated in law in 1759, but continued to devote much of his time to acting ‘all'improvviso’ in an amateur theatrical company for which he wrote many comedies, some of which were published. He was also active as an amateur composer. The Naples Conservatory library has much of his music in autograph, including two stage works (1765, 1783), four masses and other sacred works, two oratorios (1765, 1768), 20 sacred and secular cantatas and organ and harpsichord pieces. He was a highly regarded singing teacher in Neapolitan society; four sets of solfeggios by him – one dated 1824 – are in the Naples library (others in I-Baf and ...

Article

(b Mainz, May 17, 1760; d Aschaffenburg, July 26, 1812). German author, aesthetician and composer. Born into a noble family, he was tutored at home and then received theological training at Göttingen. Though physically deformed, he was a virtuoso pianist by the time he reached Göttingen. He became a canon at Trier, Worms and Speyer, and a privy counsellor to the Elector of Trier, but he was able to devote most of his time and energy to scholarly pursuits including music. He studied composition with Ignaz Holzbauer and travelled extensively in Italy and England. His works about music and his compositions were published regularly in his lifetime and professional musicians regarded them seriously.

Dalberg’s writings cover such diverse subjects as meteorology, penal law and translations of works on oriental subjects. This wide range of interests that hints at the dilettante is also present in his writings on music. Their topics include the music of India, ancient Greek music, newly invented instruments and the history of harmony, and there is an important series of fanciful, highly imaginative works that reflect the aesthetic attitudes of early German Romanticism. Many of the latter reveal a strong interest in the nature of musical inspiration and its relation to the inner world of the artist. The earliest of these writings appeared in the 1780s and establishes Dalberg as one of the first musical Romantics. His ...

Article

[Samuel Moses]

(b Halle, May 15, 1795; d Berlin, May 17, 1866). German music theorist, critic and pedagogue. One of the most influential theorists of the 19th century, Marx named and codified sonata form. As a critic he awakened and cultivated early appreciation for the symphonies of Beethoven; as a pedagogue he worked to make music an integral part of the education of the individual and of the development of the German nation.

Marx was the son of a Jewish doctor in Halle. He entered the university there in 1812, studying law, and together with Carl Loewe also studied composition with Türk. He practised law in Naumberg from 1815 to 1821, and in 1819 converted to Protestantism, changing his forenames from Samuel Moses to Friedrich Heinrich Adolf Bernhard. In 1821 he moved to Berlin, where he increasingly gave himself over to music and studied for a short period with C.F. Zelter. The music publisher A.M. Schlesinger made him editor of the ...

Article

Janna Saslaw

(b Dresden, Oct 13, 1792; d Leipzig, Jan 3, 1868). German composer, theorist and teacher. After studying the violin and composition with Spohr (1811), Hauptmann worked as a violinist in Dresden (1812–15). From 1815 to 1820 he was the private music teacher to Prince Repnin's household in Vienna. After two more years in Dresden he went to Kassel as court chapel violinist under Spohr and remained there for 20 years. During that time he developed a reputation as composer and theorist. In 1842 he was appointed Kantor of the Thomasschule in Leipzig, on the recommendation of Spohr and Mendelssohn. The next year he was appointed teacher of theory and composition at the newly founded Leipzig Conservatory. Also in 1843 he was editor of the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung. In 1850 he became a founder-member of the Bach-Gesellschaft; he edited three volumes and remained president of the society until his death. Hans von Bülow, Ferdinand David, Salomon Jadassohn, Joseph Joachim and C.F. Weitzmann were among his many students....

Article

Janna Saslaw

(b Freinsheim, nr Mannheim, March 1, 1779; d Bad Kreuznach, Sept 21, 1839). German composer and theorist. As a child, he studied the flute and piano, and later the organ and cello. In 1802, after studying law, he settled as a lawyer in Mannheim. There he composed, founded a musical society and conducted concerts; and he befriended Carl Maria von Weber (who was no relation) and Meyerbeer. In 1814 he moved to Mainz and in 1819 to Darmstadt, where he continued his legal career and became Grossherzoglicher Generalstaatsprokurator (General State Prosecutor).

Weber's musical achievements include writings about acoustics, music history, performing practice and theoretical issues; the founding in 1824 of the music journal Cäcilia; and the invention of a chronometer that initially rivalled Maelzel's metronome and a double-slide trombone, considered a predecessor of the Wagner tuba. He was the first to question the complete authenticity of Mozart's Requiem. As a composer, he is recognized for his through-composed lieder and his church music....

Article

Douglas Johnson

(b Lüdenscheid, Westphalia, Nov 12, 1817; d Graz, Oct 29, 1882). German musicologist, teacher and composer . After studying in Berlin (1838–9) and in Leipzig (1840–45), where he knew and was taught by both Mendelssohn and Schumann, he moved permanently to Vienna in 1846. There he gave lessons in theory and the piano, composed, and in later years devoted himself increasingly to various scholarly activities. His circle of friends included Brahms, Joachim and many of the important scholars of his day. Although Kalbeck, in his biography of Brahms, described Nottebohm’s character in unflattering terms, Brahms and Nottebohm were frequent companions and even lodged together for a time in 1870. Brahms also referred private pupils to Nottebohm and recommended his scholarly articles to the publishers Rieter-Biedermann.

Nottebohm’s compositions, mostly small piano pieces and chamber works with piano, achieved no lasting popularity, and it is for his scholarly accomplishments that he is remembered, though the full significance of his work has become somewhat obscured. At a decisive period for musicology, he and such contemporaries as Jahn, Köchel, Pohl, Thayer, Spitta and Chrysander developed a new approach to biography, based on documentary fact rather than personal reminiscence, and a new methodology for editing music through critical evaluation of all the available source materials. Nottebohm, one of the first acknowledged experts in textual criticism, was asked by Breitkopf & Härtel in ...

Article

Nancy Kovaleff Baker

(b Rudolstadt, Oct 10, 1749; d Rudolstadt, March 19, 1816). German theorist and violinist. He served in his youth as a violinist in the Hofkapelle at Rudolstadt and in 1772 became a court musician. He studied the violin and composition with the Kapellmeister Christian Scheinpflug and briefly continued his studies in Weimar, Dresden, Berlin and Hamburg before returning to Rudolstadt, where he remained for the rest of his life. In 1792 he was appointed Kapellmeister, but he returned voluntarily to the orchestra as a first violinist after one year. Composition and writing then occupied him until his death. He was posthumously elected to the Swedish Royal Academy of Music in 1818.

The majority of Koch's compositions were for the court: cantatas, a drama Die Stimme der Freude in Hygeens Haine (1790), instrumental works and sacred music. Except for excerpts illustrating his theoretical writings, these are now lost. Seven symphonies ascribed to ‘Koch’ and formerly held by the Hofkapelle (now in ...

Article

Othmar Wessely

[Alois]

(b Raase [now Rázová, nr Brantál, Moravia], June 22, 1799; d Vienna, March 20, 1853). Austrian musicologist. From 1811 he attended the school of the Franciscan friary at Opava, where he had lessons in organ and cello and sang in the choir. After studying philosophy (1816–19) and law (1819–23) at the University of Vienna, he worked from 1824 as an official in the war office, an assistant to Kiesewetter, and later as a drafting assistant (1834–8) and a chancery clerk (1838–53). As a bass he sang occasionally in the court chapel choir from 1825 and became a member of the choir in 1836. In 1829 he was appointed a member of the board of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde.

As a scholar and collector, Fuchs was of great importance to musicology. His music library, which he built from 1820, was particularly rich in autographs, among them works by Bach, Handel, Haydn, Gluck, Mozart, Beethoven and other German and Italian composers of the 18th and early 19th centuries. It also contained rare 17th-century printed editions of music, theoretical treatises on music and a collection of portraits of musicians. Generous gifts to the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna and to other institutions have changed the extent and the contents of the whole collection considerably. This is recognizable from Fuchs’s numerous handwritten catalogues which were constantly renewed from ...

Article

Howard Serwer

(b Seehof, nr Wendemark, Brandenburg, Nov 21, 1718; d Berlin, May 22, 1795). German critic, journalist, theorist and composer. Gerber claimed that Marpurg had told him that he lived in Paris around 1746; Carl Spazier confirmed this, adding that Marpurg was friendly with Voltaire, D'Alembert and others when he was secretary to a ‘General Bodenburg’. This is generally assumed to refer to Generallieutenant Friedrich Rudolph Graf von Rothenburg, a favourite of Frederick the Great and Prussian emissary to Paris in 1744–5, and the dedicatee of Marpurg's Der critische Musicus an der Spree (1749–50).

From 1749 to 1763 Marpurg devoted himself almost exclusively to writing and editing books and periodicals about music and to composing and editing lieder and works for keyboard. In 1752, at the request of the heirs of J.S. Bach, he wrote a notable preface for a new edition of Die Kunst der Fuge...

Article

Franz Gehring

revised by Bruce Carr

( b Darmstadt, Sept 6, 1819; d Vienna, April 28, 1887). German music historian, organist and composer . He came from a musical family, his grandfather having been a maker of glass harmonicas, his father (d 1869) chamber musician to the Duke of Hesse-Darmstadt, and his mother a daughter of the composer Bečvařovský. He was trained as an engraver, but in 1841 he settled in Vienna and after studying under Sechter became in 1849 organist of the new Protestant church in the Gumpendorf suburb. His compositions, of which at least 14 collections of songs and keyboard pieces were printed, date mostly from these years. In 1855 he resigned his post for reasons of health and devoted himself thereafter to teaching and writing.

In 1862 he published a pamphlet on the history of the glass harmonica. From 1863 to 1866 he lived in London, occupied in research at the British Museum on Haydn and Mozart; the result was ...

Article

Erwin R. Jacobi

(b Claussnitz, nr Chemnitz, Aug 10, 1750; d Halle, Aug 26, 1813). German theorist and composer. His father, Daniel Türcke, was an instrumentalist in the service of Count Schönburg; he was also secretary to the local mining authority and the owner of a hosiery business. The boy was trained at an early age for the hosiery firm, received his first music lessons from his father and learnt several wind instruments with his father’s colleagues. At the Dresden Kreuzschule he received thorough musical education under the Kantor G.A. Homilius, a former pupil of Bach and teacher of J.A. Hiller and J.F. Reichardt. In 1772 he enrolled at the University of Leipzig, but continued his music studies under the guidance of Hiller, to whom Homilius had recommended him. He played the first violin in Hiller’s ‘popular concerts’ and made his first attempts at composition (two symphonies and a cantata, all now lost). Under Hiller’s direction he came to know the latest songs, cantatas and Singspiele, and felt Hiller’s formative influence as a teacher and, above all, as a choirmaster. At the same time he took keyboard (clavichord) lessons in Leipzig from J.W. Hässler, a pupil of J.C. Kittel and therefore also in the tradition of J.S. Bach. He was taught according to C.P.E. Bach’s ...

Article

Sergio Lattes

revised by Roberta Montemorra Marvin

(b Correggio, nr Reggio nell’Emilia, Aug 30, 1769; d Correggio, May 18, 1832). Italian composer and theorist. Born into a family of musicians, he was essentially self-taught although he studied briefly with Giovanni Battista Lanfranchi, the assistant maestro di cappella in the basilica. At the age of eight he had already written complex sacred pieces and chamber music. He studied in Parma with Angelo Morigi (called ‘Il Merighi’) during 1780–81 and in 1782 stayed for a time in Bologna (where he visited Paudre Martini) and Venice, where he had great success as a harpsichordist and improviser. Having returned to Correggio, at the age of 14 he taught the harpsichord, flute and cello at the Collegio Civico and in 1786 was appointed maestro di cappella. La volubile, performed in Correggio in 1785 with the intermezzo Il ratto di Proserpina, marked the beginning of his career as an opera composer. In the retinue of the Marchese Gherardini, he moved to Turin (...

Article

Othmar Wessely

(b Sondershausen, Sept 29, 1746; d Sondershausen, June 30, 1819). German music scholar, organist and composer. He was the son of the composer and Bach pupil Heinrich Nikolaus Gerber, who was also his first teacher of the organ and music theory. In 1765 Gerber began to study law at Leipzig University and then worked as an assistant in a solicitor’s office. He also appeared as a cellist at public concerts and at the theatre. Unsatisfactory professional circumstances caused him to return to Sondershausen, where he practised as a lawyer and taught the children of the Prince of Schwarzburg-Sondershausen. In 1775 he succeeded his father as court organist and at the same time acted as accountant to the management of the prince's estate, and later became secretary to the court. He held these posts until his death.

Gerber won some distinction as a composer, but achieved lasting fame as a collector and lexicographer. During his lifetime he amassed one of the greatest private music libraries of the 18th century, in which he incorporated his father's collections and portions of the libraries of J.V. Eckelt and J.G. Walther. The Leipzig firm of Breitkopf also presented him with copies of many of its publications. Gerber's library and music collection, the scope of which is described in a manuscript index of ...

Article

Uwe Harten

(b Marbach, Lower Austria, Jan 30, 1756; d Vienna, Oct 26, 1823). Austrian composer, organist and theorist. After early music instruction from his father, who was organist at Marbach, he was, from 1763, a choirboy at Mariazell, Styria, where he was taught organ and composition by F.X. Widerhofer. In 1772 he was appointed organist at the orphanage in Vienna by Propst Ignaz Parhamer. He completed his training in Vienna under Albrechtsberger, the influence of whose teaching method is apparent in Preindl's important theoretical work, the posthumously published Wiener Tonschule (1827). In 1775 he became organist at the church of Maria am Gestade; in 1783 he was organist of the Carmelite church in Vienna-Leopoldstadt where Albrechtsberger was regens chori. In 1787 he moved to the Michaelerkirche where he remained until 1793 when he became Kapellmeister at the Peterskirche. From 1795 he was also vice-Kapellmeister at the Stephansdom and from ...

Article

(b Saalfeld, bap. April 24, 1721; d Berlin, 26 or July 27, 1783). German theorist and composer. All information relating to his career before 1754 is based on F.W. Marpurg’s biographical sketch (1754), an autograph album described by Max Seiffert (1889) and comments found in letters Kirnberger wrote to J.N. Forkel in the late 1770s (published in Bellermann, 1871). He received his earliest training on the violin and harpsichord at home, and attended grammar school in Coburg and possibly Gotha. He studied the organ with J.P. Kellner in Gräfenroda before 1738, and then the violin with a musician named Meil and the organ with Heinrich Nikolaus Gerber in Sondershausen in 1738. According to Marpurg, Kirnberger went in 1739 to Leipzig, where he studied composition and performance with Bach for two years (the autograph book shows that he was in Sondershausen in 1740 and Leipzig in ...