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Zeitschrift für Musikwissenschaft

(Leipzig, 1918-1935)

Prepared by Peter Sühring
Online only (2023)

Bibliographical description

The Zeitschrift für Musikwissenschaft [RIPM code ZMW] was published by the Deutsche Musikgesellschaft (German Music Society, DMG), which was founded in 1917, during the First World War. With the exception of double issues, which appeared once or twice a year (mostly in the summer months and at the turn of the year), the Zeitschrift für Musikwissenschaft was published monthly from October 1918 to December 1935 in Leipzig by Breitkopf & Härtel. In issue 5/6 of the sixteenth year (1934), it was announced that the ZMW would only appear every six weeks in order to maintain the size of four printed sheets, but the journal continued to appear monthly with a slight increase in the double numbers.

Each volume ran from October to September of the following year, beginning with 1918/19. After the society was renamed to the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Musikwissenschaft (German Society for Musicology), with a change in editorial staff, publication was interrupted in the fourth quarter of 1933, in which a new publication year should have begun; thus the sixteenth year began in January 1934 and volume numeration coincided with the calendar year. The journal’s editors ("Schriftleiter") were Alfred Einstein (Berlin) from the first issue of the magazine to June/July 1933 and Max Schneider (Halle) from August/September 1933 to December 1935.

These changes were related to the ideological centralization of scientific activities of the National Socialist dictatorship. The politically controlled Staatliches Institut für deutsche Musikforschung (State Institute for German Music Research) in Berlin, with the controlled Archiv für Musikforschung (Archive for Music Research) as its central organ, replaced the DMG, an independent scientific society and voluntary association of specialist colleagues, and their publication organ, the ZMW. The Archiv für Musikforschung—not to be confused with the Archiv für Musikwissenschaft (Archive for Musicology), which had been published by the Bückeburg Institute from 1918-1927—was also the eighteenth year of the Zeitschrift für Musikwissenschaft and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Musikwissenschaft continued to function formally as the publisher who was only “supported” (that is, controlled) by the Staatliches Institut für deutsche Musikforschung, but this mock construction was then disbanded in 1938 when society was dissolved.

Each issue contained approximately 64 pages. After the first section, composed of long articles and papers, each issue contained an extensive review section under the heading "Bücherschau", as well as usually the related review section "Neuausgaben alter Musikwerke” (New Editions of Old Music Works). The following section "Mitteilungen” (Announcements) contained editorial notices, but also longer contributions to discussions on earlier articles or presentations of recent research results or discoveries. In order to free the Mitteilungen from minor scientific contributions and controversies, these subjects appeared from the year 1928/29 under the title “Miszellen” (Miscellany) and from the year 1934 under “Kleine Beiträge” (Small contributions). Often, the Mitteilungen were preceded by the “Mitteilungen der Deutschen Musikgesellschaft” (Notices of the German Music Society, later, Deutschen Gesellschaft für Musikwissenschaft). They contained not only communications from the board of directors to the members, but also reports on the meetings of the local groups.

Courses on musicology at German-speaking universities (including those not located in the German Empire) are listed alphabetically by city with their topics and titles twice a year (in the summer and winter semesters). All years were accompanied by an annual “Zeitschriftenschau” (Overview of magazines), sorted by topics, and an annual table of contents with detailed registers of authors and titles. In the “Zeitschriftenschau” of 1933, the rubric “Jewish Church Music”, which had previously existed alongside Catholic and Evangelical, was deleted.

The entire journal was printed in one column, only the review section appearing in two columns from the year 1934. Since the first issue of the twelfth year (October 1929) there was a transition from the old German font (“Fraktur”) to Latina. From 1934 the title of the magazine appeared again in Fraktur script. Apart from occasional self-promotion by the Breitkopf & Härtel publishing house in the later years, there was no advertising in this scientific journal.

Short biographical sketches of the editors and collaborators


Alfred Einstein (1880‑1952) was a German-American musicologist of Jewish descent who was denied a further academic career in Germany during the Empire and the Weimar Republic for anti-Semitic reasons, following receipt of his doctorate in 1903 on the viola da gamba. This situation prompted him to work as a private scholar, lector, editor and music critic in Munich and Berlin, while editing three editions of the Riemann Musiklexicon. His Geschichte der Musik, written in hospital during a temporary psychological disruption, and without scientific aids, was published in multiple editions until his death. In 1918 he was elected editor (“Herausgeber”) of the ZMW at the first general meeting of the DMG, on the recommendation of Adolf Sandberger, who had refused to give him a habilitation, and retained this position until summer 1933, when he was dismissed from all of his editorial positions in German publications. He emigrated, first via England and Italy, where in Florence he completed the third edition of the Köchel index of W.A. Mozart's works, and which he was able to publish in Germany after a special permit from the Minister of Propaganda, Joseph Goebbels. From Italy, he went to the United States, where he accepted a call from Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, where he taught until his retirement in 1950. He did not return to Germany, did not publish further in German, and was made bitter by the denazification and reinstatement of his former colleagues at German universities. His English-language publications include studies of Gluck, musical Romanticism, Mozart and Schubert, and an epochal three-volume representation of the Italian madrigals, recently translated into German. Based on his experience and research, he refused to tell a story of progress in the history of music (“Beethoven is no higher than Lassus”) and condemned nationalism. As editor-in-chief of the ZMW, he succeeded uniquely in developing an interdisciplinary culture of debate that even continued for some time after his editorship. As an author, Einstein participated in the ZMW mainly as a reviewer and correspondent, such as his report on the music-historical congress in Vienna in XI:8, 494-500.

Max Schneider (1875‑1967). As a student of Hermann Kretzschmar and Hugo Riemann (musicology) and Salomon Jadassohn (composition), he worked as assistant, lecturer and professor in Berlin, Breslau and Halle, where he ultimately taught continuously from 1928 to 1952 as successor to Arnold Schering. His main research areas were Protestant church music and profane music from the sixteenth to eighteenth centuries. He lost his position as dean of the Faculty of Philosophy in 1938 (appointed 1936) due to his rejection of the aggressive, National Socialist (NS) ideological orientation of universities demanded by the “Reichsleiter” Alfred Rosenberg, but he remained a member of several NS educational organizations. He particularly excelled as a Bach and Handel researcher and collaborated in the societies dedicated to these two composers as 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 assumed the editorship of the ZMW after Einstein's dismissal in the summer of 1933 and was able to protect the journal for a while from the worst effects of National Socialist synchronization. It continued to publish articles on Jewish topics and by Jewish authors and ideologically neutral elaborations, many from the assignments left by Einstein. At the meeting of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Musikwissenschaft in June 1935, he advocated for independent scholarly society of musicology with an independent ZMW, against the abuses and claims for subordination organized by President Schering on the part of the Nazi-oriented colleagues Schiedermair, Bücken, and Steglich. As an author, Schneider at the ZMW was extremely reserved. Throughout the years, he only published a number of reviews of books and events.


Hermann Abert (1871‑1927) was the son of the composer and Stuttgart conductor Johann Joseph Abert and father of the musicologist Anna Amalie Abert. He was a music historian, but began his academic training as a classical philologist and later, after working on antiquity and the Middle Ages, concentrated on the history of opera. He taught in Halle, Heidelberg and Berlin. His way of working, which is based on sources and values, had a school-forming effect. He developed the Mozart image that was decisive for his generation in the form of a fundamental revision of Otto Jahn’s Mozart biography. After working as secretary of the DMG, he became its chairman in 1923. For the ZMW he wrote papers on J. Chr. Bach as an opera composer (I:6, 313-28) and Haydn's piano sonatas (II:10, 553-73) as well as several reviews, mainly on topics related to opera history, but also those from antiquity and the Middle Ages.

Friedrich Blume (1893‑1975) was one of the most important and formative figures in twentieth century German musicology. Trained by Abert in Leipzig and Berlin, he worked in Berlin and Kiel (where he held the chair of musicology from 1934 to 1958) and was responsible for the school-based synthesis and formulation of guild-based teaching opinions. The universalist aspiration to collect the knowledge of his generation of German musicologists, to grasp it lexically and to present it with a certain generality, was also decisive for the plan developed since 1943, for a broad and in-depth lexicon, Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (MGG), the first volume of which was published in 1949 and which could only be completed after his death in 1986. The focus of Blume's own research was older and church music. From 1933 to 1945, without being a member of the NSDAP, he contributed to the realization of certain projects inspired by National Socialism, such as the leading publication of the volumes Erbe deutscher Musik, which he carried out as a member of the Staatliches Institut für deutsche Musikforschung. In 1939 he wrote the section on German musicology for the “Festschrift” of German scientists on the 50th birthday of Adolf Hitler. He also delivered the introduction to the Festival of Choirs in Schleswig Holstein, 1939, and on this occasion made commitments to the national community and the German state as a whole and described music as state-sponsored. On the core question of National Socialist music politics, the racial question, he declared racial research in the field of music to be essential, but doubted the possibility of clarifying it in a scientific way. After 1945, Blume took an active part in the reconstruction of the music research society and its international integration into the scientific community and was its president for a long time. For the ZMW, he wrote a number of reports and reviews as well as a longer article on Michael Praetorius' work, which was planned in several parts; only two sections could be published in 1935 (XVII:8, 321-31 and XVII:12, 482-502).

Hans Engel (1894‑1970) was a musicologist, with a background in practical music, who taught in Greifswald, Königsberg and after the Second World War in Marburg. He provided for Pomeranian regional research and realized performances and printing of Pomeranian music monuments. Initially also engaged in performances of contemporary avant-garde music, ideologies of community and of loyalty to the German people increasingly gained the upper hand in his thinking and led him to activities in the spirit of National Socialist music politics. After 1945 he transferred the maxims of national identity to those of the European culture. The growing de-liberalization of his thinking and temporary devotion to “völkische” (folk-like) ideas can also be seen in his contributions to the ZMW. He began his journalistic career at the ZMW in 1929 with a series of expert reviews, which he continued as one of the most diligent reviewers until 1935, including a controversial review concerning the specialty of his dissertation, the history of the piano concerto, and that of the memorial book for Herman Abert. In 1932 he proposed solutions for organizational questions in musicology, a much-discussed topic (XIV:5, 272-76). The programmatic article “Music, Society, Community” (XVII:4, 175-85), which shows his changed views in the transition from a sociological to a community-ideological way of thinking, stands in crass contrast to his scholarly study on the “Madrigals of Marenzio” that appeared shortly thereafter (XVII:6/7, 257-88).

Karl Gustav Fellerer (1902‑1984) was a researcher in the field of church music who was initially close to Catholic traditions and institutions, then a musicologist, who expanded his research and views in connection with National Socialism also to worldly-related questions, and who taught in Münster, Fribourg (as the successor to Peter Wagner), and from 1939 in Cologne. In view of his propagandistic publications in the spirit of National Socialism during the war, and his morally reprehensible help for the special staff of the “Reichsleiter” Rosenberg in connection with lootings in areas of Europe occupied by the German Wehrmacht, one can be astonished of the restorative character of the post-war era, where Fellerer—through his discharge in his denazification process—could re-establish himself at the Cologne University and had a leading role in the musical life of the Federal Republic of Germany and Austria. For the ZMW, Fellerer wrote in the earlier (Catholic) phase of his life: “Ein Freisinger Mensuralkodex aus dem Jahre 1707 von Michael Wurmb” (VIII:6, 361‑70), “Die vokale Kirchenmusik des 17./18. Jahrhunderts und die altklassische Polyphonie” (XI:6, 354-64), “Schulgesänge aus Münsters Humanistenzeit” (XIII:8, 417-24), as well as several reviews.

Jacques Handschin (1886‑1955) was a Russian-born organist, partly trained in Germany (with Max Reger and Karl Straube), then a Swiss musicologist emigrated from the young Soviet Union, where he initially held a central position for music in the People's Commissariat for Education. Handschin taught in Basel beginning in 1930 with a large circle of interests, especially concerning music in the Middle Ages and took idiosyncratic positions on the open questions of this area due to his source research, which were differed from the mainstream of German medieval research (represented by the Ludwig School). He endeavored 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 Heinrich Besseler). During his academic work, he continued to work as an organist and on his studies in sound psychology, which he had started in St. Petersburg. For the ZMW he wrote: “Was brachte die Notre Dame-Schule Neues?” (VI:10/11, 545-58), “Zur Notre Dame-Rhythmik” (VII:7, 386-89), “Zur Geschichte der Lehre vom Organum” (VIII:6, 321-41), “Die Freiburger Tagung für deutsche Orgelkunst” (VIII:11/12, 648-50), “Ein mittelalterlicher Beitrag zur Lehre von der Sphärenharmonie” (IX:4, 193-208), “Die mittelalterlichen Aufführungen in Zürich, Bern und Basel” (X:1, 8-22), “Zur Frage der melodischen Phrasierung im Mittelalter” (X:9/10, 513-59), “Über Estampie und Sequenz” (XII:1, 1-20 and XII:3, 113-32), “Das Pedalklavier” (XVII:9/10, 418-25) as well as numerous reviews and reports from organ meetings and congresses.

Richard Hohenemser (1870‑1942) was born in Frankfurt/Main into a Jewish family and lived as a music writer without a university position after completing his musicological studies (in Berlin with Philipp Spitta, Heinrich Bellermann and Oskar Fleischer and in Munich with Adolf Sandberger) in Frankfurt/Main and Berlin. Hohenemser wrote several books and essays; he committed suicide with his wife in 1942 to avoid deportation. In the ZMW he published “Über Gleichheit der Tonarten bei Entlehnungen” (I:3, 188-93), “Leo Tolstoi und die Musik” (II:11, 655-65) “Cherubiniana” (IX:8, 487-93), as well as several reviews.

Anneliese Landau (1903‑1991) was a German-American musicologist, student of Schering, who worked as a music journalist on the radio, in magazines and in adult education, because she was barred from an academic career both as a woman and a Jew, and was robbed of all of her fields of activity after 1933. She was forced to work in the Jewish cultural association, with the focus of her lectures and publications on the art song and music of Jewish composers. After emigrating to the USA, she continued her work on musical education from which she was able to earn a living. In the ZMW, she took over the production of the annual “Zeitschriftenschau” from 1930-33 and wrote two articles: “Spätromantische Schubert-Ergänzung” (XI:3, 155-59), “Die Klaviermusik Conradin Kreutzers, Zu seinem 150. Geburtstag” (XIII:2, 80-83),  in addition to reviews.

Hans Mersmann (1891‑1971) was a musicologist with a tendency towards fundamental aesthetic questions. He was entrusted with the establishment of a folk song archive during the Empire, taught at the Technical University in Berlin during the Weimar period, fought for the recognition of new music, and headed the new music journal Melos from 1924-1933. Mersmann was relieved of all his functions after 1933, branded as a “cultural Bolshevik” and was able to survive the Third Reich as a private music teacher; after the Second World War directed the Cologne Academy of Music for ten years. In the ZMW he published longer articles: “Versuch einer Phänomenologie der Musik” (V:4/5, 226-69), “Versuch einer musikalischen Wertästhetik” (XVII:1, 33-47), an obituary for Max Friedlaender (V:1, 41-45), and several reviews.

Kathi Meyer (-Baer) (1892-1977) was a musicologist and music librarian trained by Johannes Wolf and Kretzschmar in Berlin and Riemann in Leipzig, who worked as a retrospectively trained librarian and research assistant in the Hirsch Music Library in Frankfurt/Main and created its catalogs, and also published journalistic works in the Frankfurter Zeitung and her academic essays at the ZMW. After 1933 she continued to work with Paul Hirsch, who had emigrated to England, until she had to flee via Paris to the USA in 1940, where she was able to continue her musicological work sporadically via scholarships, though she never really gained a foothold there. For the ZMW, she wrote “Ein historisches Lied aus dem Frauenkloster zu St. Gallen” (I:5, 269-77), “Kants Stellung zur Musikästhetik” (III:8, 470-82), “Zum Stilproblem in der Musik” (VI:5, 316-32), and “Ein Musiker des Göttinger Hainbundes. Joseph Martin Kraus” (IX:8, 468-86). She contributed to the discussion of organizational questions in musicology with a contribution on the importance of bibliography and led a controversy with Peter Wagner about the role of the paraphonista in the Carolingian Empire.

Arnold Schering (1877‑1941) was a musicologist trained in Berlin, first for on violin (studying with Joseph Joachim) and composition, then in musicology (with Fleischer) as well as in Munich (with Sandberger) and Leipzig (with Kretzschmar). He worked in the German Empire, the Weimar Republic and in the Third Reich, eagerly researching and publishing, as well as holding several leading positions in the university sector (professor positions in Leipzig and Berlin), in the professional association of musicologists (chair of the commission for the Denkmäler Deutscher Tonkunst, president of the DMG from 1928 to 1937) and several societies (a leading position in the Bach- and Händelgesellschaft). He was editor and collaborator of various, non-scientific, music magazines and daily newspapers. He sought a synthetic view that captured the symbolic essence of the musical work of art, promoted a musical history based on examples, which he treated like patterns for higher categories, and dealt with practical questions of performance. Bach's church music and Beethoven's world-idealistic music were fixed points of his views. After the transfer of power to the National Socialists, whom he welcomed, he promoted the transformation of the DMG, in the sense of the new totalitarian rulers and their ideology of the superiority of German culture, especially music, and allowed young National Socialists in the association to set the course for fulfillment of prescribed state tasks. In his policy article at the beginning of the new year of the ZMW 1934, he saw a positive influence by the political reorganization in Germany which also reflected on the music society. He speculated, but expressed in a tone of conviction and presented as proven, that Beethoven underlaid his symphonies with a literary program based on words from works by Shakespeare and Schiller, with a specific interpretation of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony as "Symphony of the National Elevation" that was realized in the new political regime. In addition to numerous reviews for the ZMW, he wrote “Ein Memorial Joh. Kuhnaus” (IV:11/12, 612-15), “Zwei Singspiele des Sperontes” (VII:4, 214-20), “Musikalischer Organismus oder Deklamationsrhythmus?” (XI:4, 212-21), “Zur Sinndeutung der 4. und 5. Symphonie von Beethoven” (XVI:2, 65-83), “Zur alternatim-Orgelmesse” (XVII:1, 19-32), and “Händels Orgelkonzert d-Moll” (XVII:11, 457-71). Together with Adam Adrio, he gave a report on the decisive general meeting of the DMG in September 1935, in which the initiatives for its reorganization were presented, and in the last issue he announced the termination of the ZMW and upcoming changes of the statute of the society.

Overview of contents and major topics treated in the journal

The journal's editors successfully endeavored to cover all sub-disciplines in the field of musicology, to present them in a variety of topics and to allow the authors to argue their positions even if controversial. Topics in the fields of acoustics, sound physiology and sound psychology that protrude into the natural sciences and mathematics were included. Likewise, questions of musical aesthetics, of cultural-historical interpretation, of explanation of musical works aimed at ideational, non-musical suggestions, and dependencies. Technical analyses of the modes of composition also appeared. Thus, the journal demonstrated a pluralistic conception to document and justify a multidimensional musicology. On the one hand, texts by specialists from the individual disciplines were presented with a multidisciplinary approach, and on the other hand, musicology was considered in its multifaceted reality in the form of mergers and overarching summaries as well as general structuring representations in a scientific kind. Historically and in relation to European music, this character was shown by the fact that a focus was placed on medieval music (Gregorian and early polyphony) and on the discussion of the upheavals around 1600 between polyphony and bass accompanied monody (or Renaissance and Baroque), whereby the problematic delimitation of the epochs was itself the subject of the discussion. The definition of musical Baroque, which had recently been introduced by Curt Sachs (or was taken from Heinrich Wölfflin's art historiography), was not taken up without hesitation, but surprisingly quickly it gained popular acceptance. The historical construction of a Classical period with the center in Vienna, which was replaced by Romanticism and its foothills (which was still noticeable after the First World War), had already prevailed here. In addition to the heroically conceived triumvirate Haydn-Mozart-Beethoven, Schubert—especially in connection with the one hundredth anniversary of his death in 1928—was given particular attention. Little attention was paid to modernity, or the revolutionary demands of contemporary music; rather, it was generally assumed that music culture was currently in an ongoing crisis.

Opera was treated in terms of musical genres, and attempts were made to grasp its history in Germany more precisely. Church music of both denominations (Catholic and Protestant) and their interrelationships are also given great importance. Research into folk music as well as the origin and development of the German song and its forms also formed the focus of articles. Great attention was paid to all historical genres of Italian music, especially motet, madrigal and opera, and their role in the development of music in Europe as a whole was always recognized. A peculiar Nordic autonomy or intrinsic value in the field of opera and instrumental music was emphasized in historical representations and occasional portraits of composers from north of the Alps, even before 1933.

The developments of individual instruments, especially the organ and the lute, and the special forms of notation for these instruments (e.g., tablature) were dealt with in detail. The sociology of music was taken up as a new sub-discipline. Often linked to ethnomusicology, and musical practice (beyond social-historical and class-related studies), it was subordinated to an anthropological, later "ethnic" or racially-based community idea. From 1933 onwards, the status, social position, or role of musicology was increasingly discussed, particularly the question of whether it was and should remain an independent science, pursue its own scholarly interests in the clarification of historical and music-theoretical connections and phenomena, or if it must obey socio-political, national, and/or “community” purposes.

The ZMW’s relative importance and historical place

The ZMW embodies a double transition in its development and in its substantial contributions. On the one hand, from the level of musicological research achieved from the founding phase of the discipline with its most important representatives (Spitta, Jacobsthal, Adler, Riemann, Kretzschmar) to new ways of differentiating and deepening, including correcting their findings, led towards an expansion and pluralization of the methodology. On the other hand, within a little more than a decade this liberal level led towards a narrowing and limitation of topics, methods and viewpoints due to the partially voluntary, sometimes enforced subordination to the premises of the National Socialist ideology. After the beginning of the First World War, and the dissolution of the Internationale Musikgesellschaft (IMG) by its German members, whose bodies and organs had been dominated and hegemonized by the German side (there were no opponents of the war among German musicologists), the foundation of an isolated German music research society, cut off from international discussion, was first avoided. The founding of the DMG during the war in 1917 and its journal, the ZMW, shortly after the war had been explicitly described as reviving the traditions of the IMG and the leading German role in it, although it was difficult under these premises to rebuild international connections and discussions, which Einstein expressly sought in his preface to the first issue of the ZMW. First, the "Schriftleiter" (actually a real editor) Alfred Einstein succeeded in developing and maintaining a culture of debate which, above all, was contrary to a tendency towards egomania in the guild later criticized by Hans Engel. An example of this openness of views was the presence of double and contrasting reviews of certain books.

The list of contributors, their quantity and weight, read like a "who’s who" of German musicology in the first half of the twentieth century. In 1933, during the transition from the first German attempt at democracy to the dictatorship of the National Socialist counter-revolution, an hour of truth struck for all representatives of German musicology. The different types can be studied based on the fates and behaviors of their members (as exemplified in the 10 short biographies of collaborators above): the defectors (Schering), the sceptics (Max Schneider) and the resistors (Wolf), the neutrals (Handschin), the Nazi ideologues of the young guard (zur Nedden), the persecuted Jewish colleagues who were able to save themselves (Einstein, Apel, Landau), the persecuted Jewish colleagues who were destroyed (Hohenemser), the non-Jewish colleagues who were eliminated as democratically-minded representatives of modern music (Mersmann). The collaborators of the ZMW represented very different tendencies within the professorship and the university institutes, in which, above all, the then-few “Ordinarien” (regular professors), as is well known, could become mandarins and school founders. The editor Einstein standing above these school authorities let their contrary views have their say and organized their discussion.

Adler's program of a style-historical orientation of research, Kretzschmar's hermeneutics oriented towards ideas and cultural history, and Riemann's functional harmonic or formal analysis, all expressed in ZMW, are at the basis of the future development of German musicology. What is striking in this journal is the lack of historical-materialistic approaches to a musical aesthetic, (represented instead in the journal Musik und Gesellschaft). The fixation on idealistic or hermetically formal-analytical concepts in music research was always justified with either a metaphysical or constructive character of the music itself. The intensive devotion and the stipulations made to music in the Middle Ages give the impression as if their research had come to a satisfactory conclusion through the methods and results of the Ludwig School (Ludwig himself, Besseler, Friedrich Gennrich, partly Rudolf Ficker).

The ZMW wanted to represent not only the German Reich, but also Austria and Switzerland (including their societies). Austrian authors maintained their neutrality after 1933 and continued to work and argue as before in the ZMW (for example, Erich Schenk); the same applies to Swiss authors (for example, Handschin, who expressed a keen interest in continuing his contribution to the ZMW after 1933).

The transition to identity ideologies after the transfer of political power to the National Socialists is extremely interesting and must be carefully observed and classified. Their program included aryanizing the entire cultural life in Germany, that is, to align one-dimensionally to a music cleaned of foreign influences and its scientific justification. The absurdity of this view, especially for Germany, the country of “mixed taste” and the crossroads of European styles, need not be explained here. The desired cleaning process was gradual, as can be seen from the development of the ZMW, and the National Socialists among the musicologists first had to be developed. Some colleagues of the older generation sank because they were ideologically vulnerable due to their previous thinking (e.g., Schering, Schiedermair, Moser), but younger colleagues were attracted to career opportunities and distinguished themselves (Gerigk, zur Nedden, Korte). A new generation of musicologists, especially aspiring Nazi youths, made their debuts in the last issues of the ZMW, emphasizing the racial issue. This led to a large moving of chairs at the universities.

The first clearly nationalistic signs appeared in the ZMW from 1933/34, as well as occasionally in earlier years. Examples can be found in the emphasis on down-to-earth “autochthonous” roots of early German opera in Germany at Schiedermair (review of the dissertation by Böhme, 16:1, 1934). Schrade calls the influence of Flemish music on the Italians “nordic”, while the Italians spoke of “ultramontane”. The fashionable concept of the race can be found, even where it is inappropriate, from 1934 in contributions by Herbert Gerigk and Robert Lach.

A mirror of the difficulties that the National Socialists had in influencing the ZMW and subordinating it to their interests is represented by its review section (“Bücherschau”) from 1933 onwards. Obviously, on the one hand, some reviews still submitted by Einstein's editorship remained, which were finally printed (see the formulation by E. F. Schmid on a replica of a review concerning a collection of songs he had published for the musical youth movement in 1926, finally appearing in 1934; see ZMW XVI:9, 445). Erich Schenk also leaves a note (in XVI:11/12) that he had already written his review of Robert Haas’s Die Musik des Barocks in 1931. On the other hand, there are also references to folk literature before 1933, e.g. Kurt Gerlach, Begabung und Stammesherkunft im deutschen Volke from 1929. In the context of the review section “Bücherschau” from 1933 onwards there was a strikingly large number of reviews of titles from the later twenties and early thirties, including by Jewish authors and reviewers.

The ambitious plans for a quick synchronization and takeover of the ZMW by loyal members of the Nazi party encountered considerable difficulties, which can be seen in the following circumstances. Under the editorship of Max Schneider, who was employed from the middle of the society’s previous leadership circle (and who was a supporter of an independent professional organization of musicologists and of a corresponding association organ), it was still possible that not only Jewish issues were addressed, but also Jewish authors could still be published after 1933 (see the contributions by Idelsohn, Willi Apel, Ernst Hermann Meyer, and Egon Wellesz). Interestingly, however, the Zionist Idelsohn speaks of racial characteristics in music. It was possible to print Handschin's positive review of the internationally-oriented Festschrift for Johannes Wolf from 1929 (in which the current editor Max Schneider himself had published a contribution) in 1934, at a time when Wolf had carried out a resistance action by resigning from leadership of the music department of the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin and from the chair of the Berlin branch of the DMG. This can be interpreted as a sign of sympathy for Wolf, if not as an act of solidarity with him.

Furthermore, an article by Hans Mersmann appeared in January 1935, two years after he was forced to resign from the management of the journal Melos and had already been publicly branded as a “cultural Bolshevik”. Also interesting is Walther Vetter's review of Paul Friedlander's Pindar book in 1935, at a time when Friedlander's professorship in Halle was already endangered by civil servants and racial laws. The most surprising item might be a factual and positive report on the thirteenth music festival of the International Society for Contemporary Music in Prague in 1935 concerning the works of ostracized and emigrated composers by Hellmuth Christian Wolff which appeared in the penultimate issue of the ZMW.

The interest of National Socialist cultural policy can be understood as to stop publication of journals such as the ZMW or to control it more stringently. The compromise of having them appear under a new name, "supported" by the new center of power for National Socialist music politics, only opened a gallows period of another three years until the dissolution of the DMG, because in a totalitarian state there was no room for an independent professional organization of scholars. The re-establishment of a music research society after 1945 was based on similar premises as in 1918: again a war was lost, again international connections were lost, again those forces went back to develop an academic German musicology and to found their association body, which after 1938 had not refused an anti-human and anti-music ideology in the field of musicology.

Table of pseudonyms and initials

G. B.

Gustav Becking

Ch. V. d. B.

Charles van den Borren

A. E.

Alfred Einstein

M. F.

Max Friedlaender

A. L.

Albert Leitzmann


Joseph Müller-Blattau

O. z. N.

Otto zur Nedden

J. W.

Johannes Wolf


This RIPM index was based on a copy of the journal held by the Library of Congress.