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Monatshefte für Musikgeschichte

(Berlin, 1879-1905)

RIPM Preservation Series: European and North American Music Periodicals (2013)

Editor: Robert Eitner

Periodicity: Monthly

Publisher: Breifkopf & Härtel

Language: German

“A reference library for a writer on music did not require much space when Eitner prepared the first issue of Monatshefte für Musikgeschichte in 1869. There were such dictionaries as Johann Gottfried Walther’s Musicalisches Lexicon, Johann Mattheson’s Grundlage einer Ehren-Pforte, Ernst Ludwig Gerber’s Historisch-Biographisches Lexicon der Tonkünstler, Gustav Schilling’s Encyclopädie der gesamten musikalischen Wissenschaften, and the Biographie universelle des musiciens of Francois Joseph Fetis; and there were general histories of music, such as those by Giambattista Martini, Johann Nikolaus Forkel, and August Wilhelm Ambros. Eitner especially valued Ambros’s history, which he judged the most important work produced in the field of music scholarship. …

“During 1868 Eitner made plans to publish his Monatshefte under the sponsorship of the Gesellschaft für Musikforschung. In fact, the former preceded the latter. The first issue of the Monatshefte appeared in January 1869, and the statutes for the Gesellschaft were not adopted until February 7, 1870. The Society was formed for the advancement of studies in music history, to be accomplished chiefly through the Society’s journal, Monatshefte für Musikgeschichte, volume 1 of which had already appeared. ...

“The function of the Monatshefte, as described in the first issue of volume 1, was to fill the many gaps in the historiography of music and to awaken a lively interest in the 'neglected science.'”

Harold E. Samuel, "Robert Eitner and his Monatshefte," in Modern Music Librarianship: Essays in Honor of Ruth Watanabe(Stuyvesant, N.Y.: Pendragon Press, 1989): 59-78.