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De Muziek

(Amsterdam, 1926-1933)

Prepared by Karijn Dillmann
Online only (2017)

The Dutch music journal De Muziek [MZK] was published in seven volumes by N. V. Seyffardt’s Boek en Muziekhandel in Amsterdam from October 1926 to August/September, 1933, after which it was incorporated as part of another journal, the Caecilia. Algemeen Muzikaal Tijdschrift van Nederland. Each volume comprises ten single issues and one double issue published monthly from October through August/September of the following year.

The individual volumes consist of approximately 480 pages, 18 x 25 cm. in size. A three page index is given for each volume. The leading articles are printed in single column format, while Correspondeties [Reports from cities in Holland and foreign cities], Muziek-besprekincen [Reviews of publications], Berichten [Music news] and Federatie-Niew.w.s Official Gedeelte [Official report of the Federation of Dutch Musicians Associations] are given in two-column format. The number of pages given for the Federatie-nieuws [Federation news] varies from one to nine, but is usually about four pages in length. The Federation took part in the selection of the subjects of articles. This agreement however was not always adhered to as there were several complaints by the Federation concerning insufficient attention paid to their interests.

De Muziek was created by the composer and writer on music Paul Florus Sanders (1891-1986), and the composer Willem Pijper (1894-1947), who were in the process of establishing a new journal with publisher N. V. Seyffardt and the Federation of Dutch Musicians Associations. Paul Florus Sanders was a student of Sem Dresden and Pijper. Among his publications are De Piano (1926) and Moderne Nederlandsche componisten [Modern composers of the Netherlands] (1933). In 1947 Sanders was appointed the New York correspondent of Dutch newspapers. Willem Pijper was first influenced by the French impressionists. Later he developed a style of his own using a scale of alternating whole tones and semi-tones which he believed to be his own invention not knowing that this method was also used by other modern composers. Pijper served as President of the Dutch Section of the International Society for Contemporary Music. Neither editor offers a statement about the journal’s principal theme.

The main part of each issue deals with subjects about music history and music theory, biographical sketches, instruments, reviews of books, music and concerts, and operatic performances in the Netherlands and abroad. The journal’s editors pay considerable attention to modern music, presenting articles about composers such as Alban Berg, Arnold Schoenberg and Anton Webern and their followers in composition with twelve notes, and other new currents in contemporary music. The threat of the National Socialists in Germany, who forbade public performance of music by Jewish composers or performances by Jewish musicians, is a recurring subject throughout the journal.

Important contributors include the journal’s correspondent from Vienna, Paul A. Pisk, student of Schreker and Schoenberg, co-editor with Paul Stefan of the Musikblätter des Anbruch, and later a professor of music in the United States. Kurt Singer offers reports from Berlin, Adolf Sandberger from Munich and Willi Reich from Vienna. H.W. De Ronde is the official Rotterdam correspondent, while Victor Belaiev writes from Moscow. MZK contains many photographs and decorations in art nouveau style.