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Archiv für Musikforschung

(Leipzig, 1936-1943)

Prepared by Peter Sühring
Online only (2024)

The Archiv für Musikforschung (RIPM code AMF) was the product of changing organizations.  Between 1936 and 1938 it was officially issued by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Musikwissenschaft (DGfM), and from 1939 to 1943 by the Staatliches Institut für deutsche Musikforschung. It had changing editors (here called “Schriftleiter”) and appeared with four issues a year. The last year had to be restricted due to the war; only two issues were published, the second issue being a triple number 2-4. After that, the journal was discontinued, either because the musicologists were away in the war or the money was scarce and used for warfare. The first year also appeared as the eighteenth year of the Zeitschrift für Musikwissenschaft, which had been discontinued as the independent organ of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Musikwissenschaft (German Society for Musicology) in 1935; the association itself was dissolved in 1938.

In the early years, individual issues contained approximately 128 pages, or over 500 pages per year, but following the start of the war in 1939, the number of pages shrank to some half of the original. The editorial address was the private home of the respective editor, who was a politically reliable leader on behalf of the centralized Berlin institute. The magazine was published and printed in Leipzig by Breitkopf & Härtel.

Following a series of main articles, there was an extensive review section under the title “Neue Bücher,” which was changed to “Besprechungen” in the last year of 1943. In the following section, “Mitteilungen,” separate sections were devoted to the Berlin Staatliches Institut and initially also to the remnants of the DGfM and reports from their most important local groups in Berlin and Leipzig. With regard to universities, courses at German-speaking universities for respective semesters or trimesters temporarily introduced in the Reich were regularly reported in listings sorted by city, as well as lists of printed or submitted dissertations. Advertisements by the publisher of the magazine were relatively rare.


Short biographical sketches of the main editor and collaborators of the journal

In the first three years (until 1938) the magazine was directed “by Rudolf Steglich in conjunction with Heinrich Besseler, Max Schneider, Georg Schünemann,” from the fourth year (1939) until 1940 by Steglich alone, and from 1941 by Hans Joachim Therstappen, who was reported in the imprint as “away in the war” from the first issue of this year. In addition to the authors listed and described individually and by name below, there were also a number of organ specialists and other organologists with a single appearance on special instruments and those who only appeared as reviewers (e.g., Willi Kahl, Rudolf Wagner, Ernst Bücken, Ursula Lehmann, Anna Amalia Abert or Oskar Kaul, the latter especially for publications on regional research). Furthermore, there were Spanish, Italian, Hungarian and Nordic guest authors, those from countries that cooperated in foreign policy with National Socialist government. The extremely low proportion of women musicologists who published in this period is also noticeable.



Rudolf Steglich (1886‑1976)

He was a musicologist trained in Munich (with Adolf Sandberger), Berlin (with Johannes Wolf) and Leipzig (with Heinrich Riemann) who initially worked as a music consultant for a daily newspaper and as a music teacher at the conservatory (both in Hanover) and taught from 1934 until retirement in 1956 in Erlangen. Steglich was the sole editor-in-chief of the Archiv für Musikforschung for two years from 1939, after having been the editor-in-chief in conjunction with Besseler, Schneider and Schünemann at the founding in 1936. Among other things, he was a Handel researcher, delivering the keynote lecture at the fifth festival of the Händel-Gesellschaft in 1934, and gave a lecture at the general meeting of the DGfM in June 1935, “Zum Propagandawesen der DGfM.” He demanded a well-fortified musicology to defend German music and, under its president Schering, was actively involved in the dissolution of the association as an self-reliant and independent society. For the AMF he wrote reviews (including of Blume's book on the racial problem in music in 1940), reports on the organizational inner workings of the State Institute and on the propaganda effect of the Reichsmusiktage in Düsseldorf.

Heinrich Besseler (1900‑1969)

He was trained in Vienna (with Hans Gàl and Guido Adler), Freiburg (with Wilibald Gurlitt) and Göttingen (with Friedrich Ludwig), and taught in Heidelberg, Jena, and Leipzig as a philosophical and scientifically well-founded musicologist who, for partly opportunistic-careerist, partly ideological reasons, linked himself ideologically and organizationally with Nazi music policy (first SA member, then NSDAP member, member and activist in the Staatliches Institut für deutsche Musikforschung; was supported by the task force of Reichsleiter Rosenberg) and later knew how to cooperate with the state authorities in East Germany (DDR). As a medieval researcher, he maintained an international exchange of ideas (with Handschin and Rokseth) in the 1930s and 40s, without abandoning the axioms of the Ludwig School and his other nationalist views. He not publish anything in the AMF, but limited himself to the support of the editor Steglich in 1936-38. However, he certainly encouraged a few articles, including a negative review of his competitor Friedrich Gennrich's book on the Strasbourg-Münster Ludwig School by his own student Werner Korte.

Max Schneider (1875‑1967)

As a pupil of Kretzschmar and Riemann (musicology) and Jadassohn (composition) he gained assistant, lecturer and professor positions in Berlin, Breslau and Halle where he finally taught as Schering's successor from 1928 to 1952. His main areas of research were Protestant church music and secular music from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. He gave up his position as dean of the Philosophical Faculty because of his rejection of the consequences of the aggressive ideological orientation of the universities in National Socialism by the Reichsleiter Alfred Rosenberg appointed by Hitler, but Schneider remained a member of several Nazi educational organizations. He was particularly active as a Bach and Handel researcher and worked significantly for the societies dedicated to these two composers as the editor of their publications. As a former co-editor of the Archiv für Musikwissenschaft (organ of the Bückeburg Institute) from 1918 to 1927, he took over the editorial management of Zeitschrift für Musikwissenshcaft after Alfred Einstein's dismissal in the summer of 1933 and was able to protect the Zeitschrift for a while from the worst effects of National Socialist conformity. At the meeting of the GDfM in June 1935 he stood up for an independent scholarly society of musicology and its independent organ, against the attacks and subordination claims organized by President Schering on the part of the Nazi-oriented colleagues Schiedermair, Bücken, and Steglich. For the AMF he served as editor in the first three years and otherwise only wrote a laudation for Max Seiffert on his seventieth birthday.

Georg Schünemann (1884‑1945)

He was a multi-faceted and educated music historian and educator, professor and director of the Berlin Hochschule für Musik and head of the music department of the Berlin State Library (as successor to Johannes Wolf) and the instrument collection of the Hochschule für Musik (as successor to Curt Sachs). As a former employee of Leo Kestenberg in the Social-Democratically run Prussian Ministry of Culture, under the National Socialists he changed orientation, supporting an “Aryan” Germanization of Daponte libretti for Mozart operas and  activities of the Reichsleiter Rosenberg office. He worked on music-pedagogical and organological topics as well as a folk song specialist with ethnological ambitions. For the AFM he wrote excerpts on instrumental questions with an ethnological background, questions about cataloging principles in the phonogram archives, wrote the obituary for Carl Stumpf in 1936, several reports from the Berlin local group of the DGfM, and some reviews.

Hans Joachim Therstappen (1905‑1950)

After completing his practical music training as a pianist and composer, he obtained lectureships and professorships in Kiel and Hamburg in the 1930s through a doctorate (on Schubert) and habilitation (on Haydn). In addition to his editorial work on the works of Orlando di Lasso, he took over the editorial management of the AMF from 1941 onwards, but he is always referred to in the imprint as being away in the war, where submissions had to be sent to the postal address of the Institute in Berlin's Klosterstrasse. Therstappen's role as the commissioned editor of the AMF seems to have been an embarrassing solution. He only published a number of reviews in the AMF.



Adam Adrio (1901‑1973)

As a musicologist, he was a student of Abert and Schering and specialized in editing and historical research on Protestant church music. Adrio taught in Berlin at the Friedrich Wilhelm University and after the war at the West Berlin Free University and the Church Music Academy. He joined the NSDAP in 1940 and published only two reviews in the AMF in the 1940s.

Hans Albrecht (1902-1961)

He was a musicologist trained in Berlin (with Abert, Wolf, Sachs and Hornbostel) who, apart from and before taking over the provisional management of the Staatliches Institut für deutsche Musikforschung in 1942, performed other administrative and ideological functions in institutions of the Third Reich (including the music department of the Propaganda Ministry). His late academic career took place after the war in Kiel, after an astonishing discharge as part of a denazification process. For the AMF he wrote only one scientific article about Jobst vom Brandt, after he had received his habilitation with a similar thesis on another composer of the sixteenth century. Furthermore, he provided official announcements on behalf of the Institute in the AMF.

Georg Anschütz (1868‑1953)

He was a psychologist, art-theoretical synesthetist and music aesthetician, who, despite his liberal training from Theodor Lipps and Eduard Spranger as well as international experiences, aligned with National Socialism and exercised managerial, controlling functions in the scientific community. In 1933, after Wiliam Stern's dismissal and the suicide of his assistant Martha Muchow, Anchütz was appointed to his first academic position at Hamburg University. After 1945 he was able to exert a scientific influence on the development of psychology in the Soviet occupation zone / GDR. For the AMF, he contributed a fundamental treatise on the relationship between music and the visual arts in 1938.

Dénes von Bartha (1908-1993)

A Hungarian musicologist who completed his training in 1920s Berlin with a doctorate on the history of style in the sixteenth century. He returned to Budapest to be curator at the music department of the Hungarian National Museum, then from 1947 professor for music history at the Conservatory, a position he held until his death. From 1936 to 1941 he wrote various articles for the AMF from Budapest, particularly on Hungarian music, but also longer studies on musical literature of the fifteenth century.

Herbert Birtner (1900-1942)

He first studied medicine, then switched to humanities subjects, especially musicology. He studied and taught at the universities in Leipzig, Marburg and Graz, and died as a soldier during the Battle of Voronezh in the Soviet Union. In the AMF he published a review of an edition of Ludwig Senfl's seven masses and later a lengthy treatise on them, in addition to other reviews.

Werner Danckert (1900-1970)

He studied in Erlangen and Jena, taught in Weimar, Berlin and Graz until 1945, and was a member of the music department of the Rosenberg office. He had to retire from university after 1945, but from 1950 he worked in Krefeld as a music teacher and lecturer in music history at the Landeskirchenmusikschule Kaiserswerth. He was a folk song researcher and developed a private system based on folkhood, tribal history and race theories for the development of European folk song and of music in the East Asian and Indo-Pacific regions. He was drawn into a heated debate by Walter Wiora about his article on wandering song melodies and Wiora’s books.

Hans-Heinz Dräger (1909-1968)

He was a German music historian with a research focus on organology. He became an assistant at the Staatliches Institut für deutsche Musikforschung and later head of the Berlin Musical Instrument Museum in 1937, after 1945 he taught in Kiel, Greifswald, Rostock, and Berlin, first at the Humboldt and later at the Free University, and moved to Texas (USA) in 1961 and acquired American citizenship. In the AMF he published three organological studies on playing techniques of the harpsichord and on the electro-acoustic organ.

Wilhelm Ehmann (1904-1989)

He was a musicologist and church musician trained and taught in Freiburg by Gurlitt, who from 1933-45 was active in journalism and music practice in Nazi cultural institutions with a “völkisch” disposition. After 1945 he began a second career as a church musician in Herford with national and international exposure and educational initiatives for choral singing. For the AMF he wrote a lengthy treatise stretching over two issue numbers on the circles of Thibaut in Heidelberg and Behaghel in Freiburg as a contribution to a history of musical restoration in the 19th century, in which Thibaut's positive relationship with Mendelssohn could be described neutrally, as if it belonged to German music history without any compromises.

Hans Engel (1894‑1970)

He was a musicologist who taught in Greifswald, Königsberg and after the Second World War in Marburg. He took care of Pomeranian regional research and realized performances and printing of Pomeranian musical monuments. Initially engaged in performances of contemporary avant-garde music, ideologems of community and loyalty to the people increasingly gained the upper hand in his thinking and led to activities in line with National Socialist music policy. After 1945 he transferred the maxims of national identity to those of the European cultural area. The growing de-liberalization of his thinking and a temporary turn to nationalistic ideas can also be clearly seen in his contributions to the AMF. In his report on the congress of the International Music Society in Barcelona in 1936, he praised the tight organizational form of science in the Third Reich and committed to a biological-racial-typological approach to music in his contribution to the importance of constitutional and psychological typologies for musicology 1938.

Karl Gustav Fellerer (1902‑84)

At first he was close to the Catholic traditions and institutions and researched in the field of church music, then his research and views in connection with National Socialism also extended to secular questions. He taught in Münster, Friborg (as successor to Peter Wagner) and from 1939 in Cologne. In view of his propagandistic publication in the spirit of National Socialism during the war and his morally reprehensible assistance for the special music staff of Reichsleiter Rosenberg in connection with the looting of areas of Europe occupied by the German Wehrmacht, one can say about his discharge as part of a denazification process, that his reinstatement at Cologne University and his subsequent leading role in the musical life of the West Germany and Austria are astonishing and as indicative of the restorative character of the post-war era. In the AMF he wrote treatises on church music by Rupert Ignaz Mayr, on the Westphalian composer Max von Droste-Hülshoff, the members of the family of musicians Puccini before Giacomo and the church works by Gassmann.

Rudolf Gerber (1899‑1957)

He was a music historian trained in Halle by Abert with a wide range of topics, who taught in Gießen, Frankfurt/Main and Göttingen. He was a member of the NSDAP and a journalist in the spirit of National Socialism, worked with the special music staff of the Rosenberg Office, continued teaching after 1945 and had loyal students such as Rudolf Stephan, Carl Dahlhaus, and Ludwig Finscher. In the AMF he published his own research on Gluck's family history as a contribution to modern genealogy-studies (“Ahnenforschung”) and was involved with Moser in a dispute over his Gluck research.

Siegfried Günther (1891‑1992)

He was a Berlin teacher who published in the field of music education and music psychology, also publishing in the journal Melos and also discussed questions of musical talent in the AMF on a racial basis. He compared the perspective of race theory opened up by Hitler for the sciences with the Copernican turn in the scientific worldview. He was one of the most active, ideologically conspicuous reviewers in the AMF and only wrote articles and reviews pertaining to questions of racial psychology.

Jacques Handschin (1886‑1955)

Born in Russia, he was an organist who was partly trained in Germany (with Reger and Straube) and then a Swiss musicologist who emigrated from the young Soviet Union where he initially held a central position for music in the People's Commissariat for Education. He taught in Basel from 1930 with a large group of interests, in particular, he researched music in the Middle. He tried to maintain his contacts with German musicologists even after 1933 and believed that he could convince them of the falseness of the National Socialist ideology (see his correspondence with Besseler). During his academic work he continued his organist activity and the sound psychological studies he had begun in St. Petersburg. Like several times in the magazine for musicology until 1935, he also published an article in the AMF in 1942 on the Greek Antioch with allusions to the discussion about the Nordic in music.

Wilhelm Heinitz (1883‑1963)

He was a phonetician and ethnomusicologist who worked in Hamburg and headed the research institute for comparative musicology there from 1931 to 1949. For the AMF he wrote articles on the interface between acoustics and psychology.

Kurt Huber (1893‑1943)

He was a musicologist and psychologist with philosophical ambitions, born in Chur (Switzerland), and trained in Stuttgart and Munich. He specialized in folk song research with a particular preference for Bavarian folk song. His work in the Berlin folk song archive was determined by a thoroughly “völkisch” way of thinking, but the National Socialists always had reservations due to denunciations and he only received a professorship in Munich very late in his career. Politically, he was a supporter of the revival of a “Germanic leadership state” and a national community based on mutual trust. His approval of the war aims of the German Wehrmacht, which he expressed while working with the student resistance group “White Rose” was rejected by the group. The AMF editor-in-chief, Steglich, believed that he had to defend Huber against allegations that Huber had referred positively to “overcome” methods of folk song research from the Weimar period (Mersmann). In the AMF, Huber published an article on Herder's justification of musical aesthetics and an abridged treatise on the folkloric method in folk song research (1938), the continuation of which was announced but never appeared.

Joachim Huschke (?‑?)

He was a musicologist who died in World War II and previously worked as an Orlando di Lasso researcher and contributor to the journal Musik im Krieg. In the AMF he wrote a treatise on Lassus' masses that was held to be important in the context of Lassus research (1940).

Heinrich Husmann (1908‑1983)

He was a music researcher trained in Göttingen (with Friedrich Ludwig) and then in Berlin, was in charge of the instrument collection of the Grassi Museum in Leipzig from 1933-39 with a teaching position and then taught until his retirement in Göttingen, medieval researcher and ethnomusicologist, he wrote for the AMF an article on the Madrid motet manuscript, some reviews and the reports on the meetings of the Leipzig local group of the DGfM.

Ewald Jammers (1897‑1981)

He was a musical mediavist and music librarian trained in Bonn, headed the music department of the Saxon State Library in Dresden from 1931 to 1945 and the manuscript department of the Heidelberg University Library after 1945. He published a series of articles in the AMF during 1941-1943, “Rhythmic and tonal studies on the music of the Antiquity and the Middle Ages,” in which technical and factual considerations are mixed with considerations of national ideologues. He also reviewed writings on Gregorian chant and the German first edition of Augustine's Musica.

Alfred Lorenz (1868‑1939)

After an initial training with Spitta in Berlin, he was first a conductor and Kapellmeister and later devoted himself to musicology with Sandberger (Munich) and Moritz Bauer (Frankfurt/Main), then taught himself in Munich and initially developed speculative musical-formal models of Wagner's works, later generalizing them. Three years before his death, he wrote an essay for the AMF about form problems with Richard Strauss.

Ludwig Karl Mayer (1896‑1963)

He was a conductor and music writer, in 1934 chief conductor at the Reichssender Königsberg, 1938 advisor at the Reichsmusikprüfstelle and after 1945 music critic for the Upper Austrian News and orchestra leader in the Linz State Theater. In the AMF he published the review of a fragmentary opera Preciosa by Philipp Christina Schulz, located in the Dresden State Library, and two reviews.

Paul Mies (1889‑1976)

He was a musicologist and pedagogue born and active in Cologne where he worked as a teacher from 1919 to 1939 after completing his doctorate and as head of the school music department at the Cologne University of Music after the Second World War. He is characterized by a wide range of interests and published his numerous works on church music in the Catholic journal Musica sacra, while he published his work on secular topics primarily in the Zeitschrift für Musikwissenschaft. In the AMF he published a paper on Beethoven's melody formation (1936) and Mozart's variation technique (1937).

Hans-Joachim Moser (1889‑1967)

After his studies, the First World War and his habilitation, he was a music professor in Halle, Heidelberg and Berlin, where he became director of the church and school music academy and held this position until 1933. His dismissal had non-political reasons. He later became a member of the NSDAP and worked in the music department of the Reich Propaganda Ministry, where he dealt with the “Aryanization” of Handel's works. His attempt to hold a professorship in Jena after the Second World War, as if nothing had happened, failed. In Berlin he was then director of the municipal (formerly Stern’sches) conservatory for ten years. His revised and new publications after 1945 also show an unchanged “völkisch” outlook. In 1939 he published an analysis of an early secular madrigal from Palestrina in the AMF and in 1942 entered into a dispute with Gerber about his reviews of his Gluck book.

Josef Müller-Blattau (1895‑1976)

He was a musicologist trained in Strasbourg and Freiburg who, after his habilitation, taught in Königsberg, Freiburg (as the successor to Gurlitt, who was expelled with his help),  Strasbourg as a song researcher, and after the Second World War in Saarbrücken. As a member of the NSDAP and SA, he worked during the Nazi dictatorship for the German “Ahnenerbe” research community, which was subordinate to the SS, and participated in the dissemination of battle songs during the war. In 1938 he wrote a lengthy treatise on the ways of the Locheimer songbook for the AMF.

Alfred Orel (1889‑1967)

He was an Austrian musicologist trained by Adler, a professor at the University of Vienna and head of the music department of the Vienna City and State Library, worked as a Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert and Bruckner researcher and editor, After the “Anschluss” of Austria he switched to special, new institutions created for him and by him with National Socialist objectives, and after 1945 he withdrew as a private scholar because of the loss of his functions, though remaining active in connection with the Salzburg Central Institute for Mozart Research. In 1937 he wrote small Schubert studies for the AMF and a report on the Vienna Mozart Conference in 1941 on the subject of Germanism in Mozart.

Helmuth Osthoff (1896‑1983)

He was a musicologist trained in Berlin by J. Wolf, who in the 1920s worked for three years at the Leipzig Opera House as a répétiteur and from 1926 in Halle and Berlin as assistant to Schering, who had a considerable influence on his way of thinking. Osthoff contributed Schering’s obituary to the AMF. From 1935 he worked at the University of Frankfurt/Main, first as a lecturer, then as a professor in various degrees and as a university music director. He became a member of the NSDAP in 1937 and held positions in various Nazi cultural institutions and had positive contact with several high-ranking Nazi functionaries. His denazification took three years, after which he was able to sue for all of his academic offices. In the AMF he published two articles in connection with his habilitation topic: German songs and antiphonics in medieval drama (1942) and: New sources on Adam Krieger (1943).

Gerhard Pietzsch (1902‑1979)

He was a musicologist with a doctorate from Gurlitt in Freiburg and habilitated in Erfurt, he taught at various universities and at high schools, published and gave lectures during the Third Reich that attempted to promote the music education program of National Socialism, namely, the relationship between music and the state and the derivation of these ideals from ancient Greece and the early Middle Ages. For the AMF he wrote, apart from a few reviews, an archival study extending over several years and issues on the maintenance of music at German universities up to the middle of the sixteenth century, a work that was published in a revised and expanded form in 1971 as a book.

Arnold Schering (1877‑1941)

He was a musicologist trained in Berlin, first for violin (still with Joseph Joachim) and composition, then in musicology (with Fleischer) as well as in Munich (with Sandberger) and Leipzig (with Kretzschmar), who diligently researched, published, and held several supporting functions in the university sector (professorships in Leipzig, Halle and Berlin), the professional associations of musicologists (chairman of the commission for the monuments of German music, president of the German music society [DMG] from 1928 to 1937) and several companies (leading position in the Bach and Handel Society). He was editor and employee of various non-academic music magazines and daily newspapers. He strove for a synthetic view that grasped the symbolic nature of the musical work of art, was the representative of a musical historiography based on examples, which he treated like patterns for superordinate categories, and dealt with questions of performance practice. Bach's church music and Beethoven's secular, idealistic music of ideas were the fixed points of his views. After the transfer of power to the National Socialists, whom he welcomed, he promoted the reorganization of the DMG in the sense of the new totalitarian rulers and their ideology of the superiority of German culture, especially in music, and allowed young National Socialists in the association to set the course for fulfillment of state-mandated tasks and generally saw an intervention of the political new rules in Germany also into the music society as positive. For the AMF he wrote two articles on Beethoven in 1936/37 (on the Sonata pathétique and on pizzicati). He is one of the most frequent referenced persons in articles by other authors in the AMF.

Ludwig Schiedermair (1876‑1957)

He was a musicologist trained in Munich, Leipzig (with Riemann) and Berlin (with Kretzschmar), began as a Mozart researcher (first critical Mozart letter edition) and after five years in Marburg he taught from 1912 to 1945 in Bonn, where he worked in personal union with the management of the musicological seminar which he founded at the university, in addition to the Beethoven archive he founded. He established a kind of monopoly, organized both institutions according to the Führer principle from 1933 and enforced the performance ban for Jews. He interpreted Beethoven's music as ideological music of ideas. As Schering's successor, he was briefly President of the DMG until its dissolution and tried to bring it to a nationalistic community course that was compulsory for all members; during the war he worked with the task force of Reichsleiter Rosenberg. After 1945 he headed the Max Reger Institute from 1947 to 1953. In the AMF he published reports on meetings and conferences of the German Society for Musicology and the obituary for Sandberger. He is also a frequent reference person in articles by other authors.

Joseph Schmidt-Görg (1897‑1981)

As a musicologist, he mainly devoted himself to Beethoven research. After 1945 he took over the functions performed by Schiedermair at the Bonn Beethoven House and the University of Bonn, and wrote a collective review of writings on musical acoustics for the AMF.

Arnold Schmitz (1893‑1980)

He was a musicologist with a focus on Beethoven research, taught in Bonn, Breslau and (after 1945) in Mainz. He published a study of a Silesian cantional from the fifteenth century in the AMF in 1936.

Eugen Schmitz (1882‑1959)

He was a musicologist trained by Sandberger and Kroyer who worked as a music professor and critic in Dresden from 1915-1939 and headed the Peters Music Library in Leipzig from 1939 to 1955. He was a member of the NSDAP and published in Rosenberg's magazine Musik im Kriege. For the AMF in 1942 he wrote a short study on Louis Spohr's early opera Die Prüfung.

Marius Schneider (1903‑1982)

He was a musicologist trained in Strasbourg, Paris and Berlin with a focus on comparative ethnomusicology on the subject of polyphony in different cultures. He assumed management of the Berlin phonogram archive after Hornbostel's expulsion, was unable to pursue a further academic career in Germany due to objections from National Socialist rulers, and went to the Africa-Corps under Admiral Canaris to carry out music-ethnological experiments in the context of the war. He went to Barcelona in 1944, where he conducted and taught music-folklore studies, returning to Germany in 1955 and taught in Cologne. In 1936 he published in the AMF on theoretical and practical questions in cataloging the phonogram archives, a lengthy treatise about chants from Uganda and comments on South American pan pipes in 1937, an article in 1938 about the literal and formal transmission of wandering melodies, in 1939 about German folksongs from Argentina.

Thekla Schneider (1894-1936)

As a musicologist, she was a student of Max Seiffert and wrote organological articles for the AMF, especially on organ building.

Wolfgang Scholz (1910‑?)

He published articles about regional musical research in Liegnitz and about Bartholomäus Gesius junior in the AMF.

Leo Schrade (1903‑1964)

He was a musicologist trained in Heidelberg, Munich (with Sandberger) and Leipzig, taught in Königsberg and Bonn until his discharge in 1937, then emigrated to the USA, where he taught at Yale University. He returned to Europe and took over the Basel music chair as Successor of Handschin. For the AMF, he wrote an article in 1936 about the mass in the organ music of the fifteenth century.

Otto Ursprung (1879‑1960)

He was educated in Munich and there (after his work as choir vicar) from 1932 to 1949 he taught as a music historian with a focus on Catholic church music. For the AMF he wrote an article in 1938 about the Sponsus game and in 1940 about the ancient transposition scales and church tones.

Erich Valentin (1906‑93)

He was a music historian trained in Munich, who initially worked as a music critic and writer in Magdeburg, then in Munich, until he became a teacher at the Salzburg Mozarteum and director of the Central Institute for Mozart Research in 1939. He published books and articles in the spirit of National Socialism, and taught after 1945 in Detmold and Munich. He wrote a treatise on poetry and opera for the AMF in 1938, an examination of opera's style problem, an obituary in 1942 for the opera researcher Gustav Friedrich Schmidt, and a report on the Salzburg Mozart Conference in 1941.

Walther Vetter (1891‑1967)

He was a music historian trained in Leipzig and Halle (with Abert) with a humanistic horizon, taught in Halle, Hamburg, Breslau and Greifswald, was later a member of several National Socialist educational and welfare organizations. He expressed himself unequivocally in accordance with the National Socialist music ideology and after 1945 in Berlin he was successor to Schering's chair, which had remained vacant since his death and held a number of all-German and separately internal GDR functions in societies and associations. In 1936 he wrote an article for the AMF on ancient music in its illumination by Aristotle and in 1941 a longer review of the first edition Gluck's L’Innocenza giustificata by Alfred Einstein.

Theodor Wilhelm Werner (1874‑1957)

He was a musicologist and critic trained in Dresden (with Draeseke), Berlin (with Wolf) and Munich (with Sandberger and Kroyer), who, after working for the Monuments Commission and the Bückeburg Institute taught in Hanover. Since 1943 he was active at the Salzburg Mozarteum and in the Salzburg press and acted as the music teacher of Thomas Bernhard. In addition to numerous reviews in the AMF in 1936 he published a review of the reprint of Telemann's Pimpinone in the Reichsdenkmäler, in 1937 an article about Melchior Schildt's will, and in 1938 about Agostino Steffani's opera theater in Hanover.

Walter Wiora (1906-97)

He was a music historian trained by Gurlitt in Freiburg, who dealt with folk song research, joined the NSDAP and published in Nazi organs, taught as a music lecturer at the Reich University in occupied Poznan, returned to Freiburg after the Second World War, then held professorships in Kiel and Saarbrücken. In 1940 he published a contribution to the study of European folk song in the AMF, which led to a controversy with Werner Danckert.


Overview of contents and major topics treated in the journal 

The thematic spectrum was not conspicuously restricted, compared with the Archiv für Musikwissenschaft, published from 1918 to 1927, though the AMF claimed to be a continuation of which in terms of personnel and content. Jewish authors who had been banned from writing, with many expelled, deported, or killed, are absent from AMF. References to their scientific achievements appear only a few times, with their names identified as “Jude” (Jew). The published studies in the AMF concern questions of music history from antiquity to the threshold of the twentieth century, with a preference for European opera and the Middle Ages. Non-occidental, non-European music is included, dealt with in detailed field studies in its complexity and intrinsic value. The derogatory category of “Negro music,” which often occurred in political propaganda outside of musicology, is not mentioned. Many sacred (with the exception of synagogal music) and secular genres are included in analytical considerations. What is striking is the oversized importance of folk song research, which is mostly linked to considerations of race theory, as is the so-called “Landschaftsforschung” (landscape research), which concentrate on the peculiarities of the German districts and tribes and find its expression in studies of local music histories and in the examination of urban and church archives. In folk song research, especially of the song forms, an argument appears which is considered more important than a dependency, not just on national aspects (which would be justifiable from a cultural and scientific point of view), but on folk and racial foundations and influences, is regularly evoked and not proven.

Nevertheless, the outspoken National Socialist ideologues among the authors do not immediately have the upper hand, but rather have “teething problems” because their definition of the term race is uncertain and controversial. The earliest article based explicitly on the National Socialist Weltanschauung is by Siegfried Günther on musical talent and race (1937, 308-39). The turning of the older generation of authors towards the new terminology is hesitant and is certainly associated with objections.

There is nothing in the AMF about contemporary music, apart references to the general community events of the Nazi cultural institutions mentioned above. The history of music appears to end with Richard Strauss and the modern age is considered to be an epoch that has been overcome and, based on the performance bans and the expulsion of the composers, modern music is no longer even deemed necessary to be criticized. To present new music from the “Systemzeit” (to the National Socialists, the era of the Weimar Republic) as outdated and overcome goes so far as to classify Debussy historically as part of the obsolete New Music, according to Therstappen in his review of Debussy books (1943, 110).

It is astonishing that there are often debates in the review section which, despite the disgruntled tone of voice, still hint at something of the old scientific habits of theoretical controversies.


The journal’s relative importance and historical place 

The AMF claimed via its name that it was to be a successor organ to the Archiv für Musikwissenschaft, which was discontinued in 1927, as the State Institute for German Music Research in Berlin, as the publishing institution, would be the continuation of the Fürstliches Instituts für musikwissenschaftliche Forschung in Bückeburg, which was no longer tenable, mainly for financial reasons. In reality, it was a takeover, organized by the Nazi party and the Reich Ministry of Education, hostile to the formerly conservative spirit of the institute, to centralize musicological research in Germany in the spirit of National Socialism, disguised as a generous rescue operation.

As the journal of the (Reich or) State Institute for German Music Research, under direct supervision of the Reich Ministry of Education, can be seen as a example of the Helmut Plessner’s concept of the “seductiveness of the bourgeois mind,” in this case specifically of bourgeois scholarship in the field of music. It documents the penetration of a totalitarian conception of the state into science, which is inherently liberal, because it is always self-critical, oscillating between verification and falsification, and constantly questioning its results. The dirigistic interventions by the state are always justified with the claim of solidarity with the people. The required subordination of all historical and current music events to the primacy of race results from the postulate that a real musical culture can only grow from a primordial ground that is tied to the people.

The fact that bourgeois musicologists, whose training and research had not previously proceeded from such non-academic premises, were able to submit to such ideologemes is not only related to the crisis of political liberalism in general, but specifically to the crisis of a human science which, through its institutionalization and the associated power structures, was ready to give up the free competition of different doctrines in favor of canonized and unified norms. For many of the conservative musicologists of the older generation, the scientific organization of the Weimar period (referred to as the “system time” by Nazi propaganda) was too haphazard and too little geared towards general validity and uniform effectiveness to the outside world. It was hoped that the systematic control and financing that was now beginning would also increase the public effectiveness of musicology, which was perceived as isolated and marginalized. The behavior of individual musicologists such as Walther Vetter and Heinrich Besseler in the change from a dictatorship of the Germanic race (National Socialism) to a dictatorship of the proletarian class (the DDR)—in actuality, only dictatorships of a respective political party organization that presumed to speak in the name of a race or class and to enforce its alleged demands on science—is a demonstration of this.

The National Socialists exercised their power over musicology mainly through ideological infiltration, and this in turn was primarily a question of language regulation, although or precisely because the racial theories were vague with regard to music. Typical for this are, for example, terminological formations by Fellerer: “stammhafter Kulturwille” (regular cultural will), “gesunder naturhafter Drang” (healthy natural urge, among the minor masters), “Romanic foreign infiltration of the Munich court” against the “naturally tribal attitude of all artists of the creative Bavarian tribe” (“romanische Überfremdung des Münchner Hofes,” “naturhaft stammesgebundene Haltung bei allen Künstlern des schöpferischen bayerischen Stammes”; 1936, 83). But there was also even worse jargon including the invention of monstrous words through arbitrary deformation of previously used words such as “westisch” (instead of westlich) or “ostisch” (instead of östlich) in order to adapt originally simple geographical terms to the already symbolically charged words “nordic,” “kulturlich,” or “dinarisch”. The concepts of race theory remain vague, including references to the “eigentlich Rassischen hinter den Erscheinungen” (actually racial behind the phenomena), of „Grundbewegung,” „Lebensgrund” or „Ursinnessphäre” (basic movement, reason for life, or primordial sensory sphere). Or Werner Danckert strives for folk song research based on uniform stylistic national groupings, with “substance differences in the folk form circles” (“Substanzunterschieden der volklichen Formkreise”; 1937, 101). The methodical basic scheme of such desired phraseology and adjustments is, however, the old (pseudo) scientific tendency to unambiguous classifications and to segregate complex reality.

Since it was largely a question of language regulation, even authors inwardly unadjusted to the National Socialist ideology could simulate a match with the necessary völkisch sayings by implanting phrases, and sometimes contradicting them, in their articles. Examples of this appear texts by the Hungarian author Dénes v. Bartha calling the late medieval music practice “nordic” (1936, 59-82) or that Gerhard Pietzsch describing the founding of universities in Prague, Krakow, and Vienna as German development work in Central Europe, located in “German lands” (1936, 259). Elsewhere, there is an opportunistic insertion of remarks about people and race, which seem artificial and were probably not included and intended in the original versions of these studies, additions that do not seem factually necessary but may have been required to be in accordance with the prevailing political direction, for example, the article by Anschütz on fine arts and music (1938, 3, 14). Gustav Friedrich Schmidt's assertion that Caesar Franck's opera Cecrops, despite foreign influences, is a matter of “down-to-earth art” and a “national creation” (1939, 3) is to be regarded as a further opportunistic phrase. These bends often lead to an astonishingly positive assessment of humanism, but often with the addition “Nordic,” in contrast to the southern Renaissance.

An unnecessary and exaggerated bow to the current political situation is also found in Otto Ursprungs’s declaration of a contemporary “cultural turnaround” (after late antiquity and the Carolingian renaissance; 1940, 129). Often, however, it is not possible to decide whether such sprinkles of racial references are caused by tactics, opportunism, or conviction. Kurt Huber's (who was later arrested and executed in Munich for his support for the “White Rose” resistance group) “völkisch” thought processes are undoubtedly formulated out of conviction and he was not an opponent of National Socialism as an ideology, but only wanted to see a better National Socialism realized, a real “Germanic leader state,” without the self-proclaimed leader Hitler and without the corrupt party apparatus of the NSDAP. His resistance was not directed against the German war aims or the genocide of the Jews. Another example of the author's mental state can be found in Friedrich Blume’s praise of the soldiery character of the musicological research of Herbert Birtner, who was killed in the battle of Voronezh. At times articles in the AMF also leave the impression of a cultural aberration, such as the essay by Hans Engel on the importance of constitutional and psychological typologies for musicology (1942, 129-53). In the behavior of some musicologists, one can also see a déformation professionelle and careerism in order not to fall behind in the competition for funding from the State Institute for German Music Research.

There are also contributions that are completely unaffected by ideological influence, astonishing isolated statements and passages such as that of Ehmann's neutral, rather positive report on the relationship between Justus Thibaut and Felix Mendelssohn, as if the latter was a normal part of German music history (1938, 428-83). The positive assessment and use of Bartók's folk song research by the guest author Dénes von Bartha at a time when Bartók's music was already ostracized and forbidden (1940, 1-22 and 193-212) is also striking.

The state-sanctioned editorial requirement to mark all Jewish authors and musicians mentioned with the note “Jew” in brackets appears in the AMF. Nonetheless, one wonders whether, in Jammers' enumeration of Researchers of Antiquity, an emphasis on their Jewishness in brackets (1940, 94) was just a standard intervention by the editorial staff or if it was voluntary, or Werner Korte's emphasis on the Jewishness of Gustav Jacobsthal (1940, 121), or when “Alfred Einstein (Jude)” is mentioned in the bibliographical information of his editing of Gluck's opera L'Innocenza giustificata in the context of the Monuments of Austrian Music in 1937 by Walther Vetter (1941, 233-40). An even greater nastiness consists in the complete obliteration of Jewish authors, for instance, Egon Wellesz’s work on Byzantine neumes is simply not mentioned in a review by Walther Lipphardt of Heinrich Sanden's book on the deciphering of the Latin neumes (1940, 185).

Despite the conscious special position that German musicologists assumed internationally in the 1930s and 1940s, there are constant complaints about an alleged rejection of cooperation by foreign researchers, certainly a rejection of the Germans' claim to leadership.

Digitized facsimiles of the AMF in the ANNO digital library of the Österreichischen Nationalbibliothek were used for indexing and commenting.