Guido Adler (1 November 1855, Ivančice (Eibenschütz), Moravia – 15 February 1941, Vienna)[1] was a Bohemian-Austrian musicologist and writer.

Guido Adler

Biography edit

Early life and education edit

Adler was born at Eibenschütz in Moravia in 1855. He moved with his family to Vienna nine years later. His father Joachim, a physician, died of typhoid fever in 1857. Joachim contracted the illness from a patient, and therefore told his wife Franciska to "never allow any of the children to become a doctor".[2][self-published source]

Adler studied at the University of Vienna and — at the same time (1868-1874) — the Vienna Conservatory of Music (where he studied piano (main subject) and music theory and composition under Anton Bruckner and Otto Dessoff). He even briefly served at the Vienna Handelsgericht before deciding to pursue his interest in music history.[3] He received an arts diploma from the conservatory in 1874. In 1878, he graduated from University of Vienna as doctor of jurisprudence, and in 1880 as doctor of philosophy. His dissertation, Die Grundklassen der Christlich-Abendländischen Musik bis 1600 (The Chief Divisions of Western Church Music up to 1600), was reprinted in Allgemeine Musikzeitung. Two years later, he completed his accreditation as a university lecturer, also known as Habilitation, with a dissertation on the history of harmony.

A pioneer of musicology edit

In 1883 Adler became lecturer in musicology at University of Vienna, on which occasion he wrote Eine Studie zur Geschichte der Harmonie (An Essay on the History of Harmony), published in the "Sitzungsberichte der Philosophisch-Historischen Klasse der Wiener Academie der Wissenschaften", 1881.

In 1884 he founded (with Friedrich Chrysander and Philipp Spitta) the Vierteljahresschrift für Musikwissenschaft (Musicology Quarterly). Adler provided the first article of the first issue, "Umfang, Methode und Ziel der Musikwissenschaft" ("The Scope, Method, and Aim of Musicology", 1885), which not only constitutes the first attempt at a comprehensive description of the study of music, but also famously divides the discipline into two subdisciplines, historische Musikwissenschaft (historical musicology) and systematische Musikwissenschaft ("systematic musicology"). In Adler's article, systematic musicology included Musikologie or vergleichende Musikwissenschaft (comparative musicology), which later became an independent discipline (cf. ethnomusicology). Although these subfields do not exactly line up with current practice, they are roughly maintained in modern European musicology and roughly correspond to the North American division of musicology into music history (often called "musicology"), music theory, and ethnomusicology.[3]

In 1885 he was called to the newly established German University of Prague, Bohemia, as ordinary professor of the history and theory of music, and in 1898, in the same capacity, to the University of Vienna, where he succeeded Eduard Hanslick. At the University of Vienna he established the Musikwissenschaftliches Institut (Musicological Institute). His students at the Musikwissenschaftliches Institut included composers Anton Webern, Egon Wellesz and Karel Navrátil; conductor Theo Buchwald; violinist Rudolf Kolisch; music editor Felix Greissle; and musicologists Pavao Markovac, Heinrich Jalowetz, and Walter Graf.[4]

In 1886, he published Die Wiederholung und Nachahmung in der Mehrstimmigkeit; in 1888, Ein Satz eines Unbekannten Beethovenischen Klavierkoncerts. In 1892-93 he edited a selection of musical compositions of the Emperors Ferdinand III, Leopold I, and Joseph I (two vols.).[5] Between 1894 and 1938 he was editor of Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Österreich, a seminal publication in music history.

Adler was the first music historian to emphasize style criticism in research. His attitudes and procedures are evident in the Handbuch der Musikgeschichte (“Handbook of Music History”), of which he became the editor in 1924.[6]

National Socialist period edit

After the Anschluss in 1938, Adler was forced to resign from his position as editor of Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Österreich. Following his death in 1941, his library was taken from his daughter, Melanie Karoline Adler,[7][8] and subsumed into the collections of the University of Vienna.[9] At the end of World War II, the large part of Adler's library was returned to his son. Much of his library is now housed at the University of Georgia and other important items are in the Houghton Library at Harvard University.[10]

Reputation edit

Adler was one of the founders of musicology as a discipline (Musikwissenschaft). He was also among the first scholars in music to recognize the relevance of sociocultural factors to music (Musiksoziologie), thereby providing a broader context for aesthetic criticism which, with biography, had been the primary focus of 19th century music scholarship. Empirical study was for him the most important part of the discipline. His own emphasis was on the music of Austria, specifically the music of the First Viennese School: Haydn, Mozart and their contemporaries.

See also edit

References edit

Citations edit

  1. ^ Randel, Don Michael, ed. (1996). "Adler, Guido". The Harvard biographical dictionary of music. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Belknap Press of Harvard Univ. Press. pp. 5. ISBN 0-674-37299-9.
  2. ^ Adler, Tom, and Anika Scott. Lost to the World. 1st ed. USA: XLibris, 2003.
  3. ^ a b Erica Mugglestone, "Guido Adler's 'The Scope, Method, and Aim of Musicology' (1885): An English Translation with an Historico-Analytical Commentary," Yearbook for Traditional Music vol. 13 (1981), 1-21.
  4. ^ Rudolf Klein (2001). "Graf, Walter". Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.11584.
  5. ^ Adler, Guido (1892). Musikalishe Werke der Kaiser Ferdinand III., Leopold I., and Joseph I. Vienna, Austria: Antaria & Company.
  6. ^ "Guido Adler | Austrian musicologist".
  7. ^ Melanie Karoline Adler: "Ausgezeichnete Herren beraten mich", Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  8. ^ Melanie Karoline Adler (1888–1942), Retrieved 4 August 2019.
  9. ^ Rick Gekoski, Lost, Stolen or Shredded: Stories of Missing Works of Art and Literature, Profile Books, 2013, chapter 11,"Lost to the World: The Library of Guido Adler".
  10. ^ Guido Adler - Musicology Then and Now at Harvard University Symposium, Exhibitions, & Concert on Friday, October 13, 2017 Archived April 13, 2020, at the Wayback Machine, Retrieved 4 August 2019.

Sources edit

External links edit