Schenker, Heinrich, 1868-1935Alternative names
Oswald Jonas, 1897-1978
In 1965 my stepfather Oswald Jonas, then 68 years old, faced a difficult decision. Retired from Roosevelt University in Chicago where he had taught since 1942, he was currently lecturing at the Music Academy in Vienna. Should he settle in Vienna, his original home, or should he return to his adopted country? Many factors were pulling in both directions when a temporary answer came in the form of an unexpected invitation to be Regents' Professor at the University of California, Riverside, for the academic year 1965/66. He accepted delightedly. Although neither he nor my mother was acquainted with Riverside, California had always been their favorite state. Indeed, some of his earliest American musical contacts had been made at Berkeley.
The "temporary answer" was to become happily permanent. Thanks to the warm, enthusiastic reception by faculty and students alike, thanks to their openminded response to his highly individual approach to music, thanks particularly to the great personal friendship of Professor William Reynolds, then Department Chairman, and his family, Riverside became a new home. When the Regents' Professorship was over, Jonas remained as Adjunct Professor until his death in 1978.
Over the years, Jonas's work on manuscripts and editions led to his gradual acquisition of an excellent library of first and rare editions. Additionally, he received a substantial part of the Nachlass of Heinrich Schenker from his friend and first student, the Viennese musicologist Erwin Ratz. Ratz, who had heroically rescued Mrs. Schenker twice from concentration camps during the Hitler years, was unable to prevent her final fate; before being taken away by the Gestapo, she entrusted her husband's remaining papers (letters, music, manuscripts and his voluminous diaries) to him. Jonas devoted his last years' work almost exclusively to this fascinating material. It seems entirely appropriate that the University which was so hospitable and enabled him to work freely during those years should be the recipient and guardian of his unique library.
Irene Schreier Scott
From the guide to the Oswald Jonas memorial collection, circa 20th century, undated, circa 20th century, (Rivera Library. Special Collections Department.)
Overview of life and achievements
Felix Salzer (June 13, 1904 - August 12, 1986) was a highly influential music theorist in the United States in the second half of the 20th century. He was born into one of the wealthiest families in late 19th century Europe, the Wittgenstein family (on his mother's side), and was immersed in music from a very early age. As a child, Salzer was raised by an English governess, and thus grew up bilingual in German and English. He studied piano with Malwine Brée, a pupil to Theodore Leschetizky and his chief assistant, and attended the Theresianum from 1914-1922, where he earned his Matura . He studied composition and theory first under Hans Weisse (from ca. 1920-1931), and then later theory under Heinrich Schenker (from 1931-1935). He studied musicology under Guido Adler and Robert Lach at the University of Vienna from 1922-1926, earning his doctorate with the dissertation Die Sonatenform bei Franz Schubert . He also studied conducting at the Akademie für Musik und darstellende Kunst Wien under Oswald Kabasta from 1930-1935.
After Schenker's death in early 1935, Salzer worked in his first teaching capacity with Oswald Jonas and Moriz Violin at the Neues Wiener Konservatorium, the first Schenker Institute in Vienna. Salzer also published his first book, Sinn und Wesen der abendländischen Mehrstimmigkeit, in the same year. Salzer and Jonas jointly founded a periodical, Der Dreiklang, from 1937-38. Salzer taught at the Mozarteum in Salzburg in the summers of 1935-1936, and also toured throughout Europe during this time to lecture on Schenkerian theory (in Holland, England, and former Yugoslavia). Salzer fled Vienna in July 1939 for Paris, following the Nazi annexation in March of the previous year. On September 19, 1939 he married Hedwig Lemberger-Lindtberg (his second wife). They both left for the U.S. from Southhampton, England in December 1939. In 1945 Salzer became a naturalized U.S. citizen.
Salzer was enormously successful as a scholar and pedagogue in the United States. Salzer worked at the David Mannes School of Music (after 1953, known as the Mannes College of Music) from 1940-56 (1948-55 as Executive Director) and later from 1962-1981 (as a teacher and in various advisory and administrative roles), and at Queens College and the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. He also taught at the Ralph Wolfe Conservatory (1940-42) and the 92nd St. YMHA (1943-45). He began as a visiting professor at Queens College of the City University of New York in 1956-57, but then returned from 1963-71 as associate professor (with a promotion to full professor in 1966). He became professor emeritus in 1971. Salzer also taught as a visiting professor at a number of other institutions: UCLA (spring semesters of 1959-1960); the Peabody Institute (spring 1962, as part of the Ford Foundation's "Conductors Project"); the New School of Social Research (1962-63); and the University of Oregon (summer 1965). Salzer was also chairman of Greater New York Chapter of the American Musicological Society 1962-64, and acted as a member of AMS council 1963-65 and again 1969-71. He had a long relationship with the Music Teacher's National Association, and gave the keynote address for the association in 1973.
Salzer published two major pedagogical works: Structural Hearing (1952) and Counterpoint in Composition (1969, co-authored with Carl Schachter), and wrote the forward to the second edition of Five Graphic Music Analyses (1969). Structural Hearing, in particular, gave Salzer wide recognition as a scholar and began a burgeoning interest in Schenker theory. This work also created much debate amongst scholars for its many departures from Schenker's ideas, and for its application of Schenker's techniques to music outside of the 18th and 19th centuries. Nevertheless, such work was greatly influential to later musicians and scholars, many of whom used Salzer's ideas as a foundation for their own work. During his life this influence made its way to a number of other countries: Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and Israel.
Salzer's familial associations included members of the Wittgenstein, Salzer, Stockert, Sjögren, Lemberger-Lindtberg, Stonborough, and Steiner families, evidence of whom can be found in the Salzer Papers. Many members of these families became important and influential figures.
Salzer's grandfather, Karl Wittgenstein (1847-1913), was one of the leading European industrialists in the late 19th and early 20th century, referred to by many as the "Carnegie of Europe." His uncle, Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951), was one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century. Paul Wittgenstein (1887-1961), another uncle of Salzer, was a prominent pianist during his life, even after the loss of his right arm during World War I. The life of the Wittgenstein family is illuminated by the eldest daughter, Hermine Wittgenstein (1874-1956), whose extended memoirs entitled Familienerrinerungen was completed in 1944. This work was dedicated and given to her nieces and nephews as a gift, which included Salzer. The collected letters of Ludwig Wittgenstein, housed in the Österreischische Nationalbibliothek, were photocopied and distributed to each member of the family as well. The Salzer Papers contains both of these historically important documents. In addition, the family was actively engaged in supporting the arts, and regularly welcomed many prominent figures to their household: figures such as Johannes Brahms, Joseph Joachim (a relative of the Wittgenstein family), Gustav Mahler, Johannes Messchaert, Pablo Casals, and many others would frequent the Wittgenstein household to give private concerts or simply pay a visit.
Salzer's father, Maximilian Salzer (1868-1948), was part of the finance ministry for the Austrian government and a personal financial advisor to the Wittgenstein family. His grandmother Leopoldine Wittgenstein is said to have had the greatest musical influence on him. His mother, Helene Wittgenstein-Salzer (1879-1956), did some choral conducting and maintained correspondence with many noted personalities in the music world of the late 19th and early 20th century. Salzer had two sisters, the elder, Marie (1900-1948), who married Fritz-Lothar von Stockert, and the younger, Clara Salzer (b. 1913, d. [year ?]), who married Arvid Sjögren in [year ?]. Salzer also had an older brother, Fritz Salzer (b. 1902), but little is known about him to date (presumably he died at an early age due to a hunting accident). Salzer's wife, Hedwig Lindtberg Salzer (1905-2000), was also a member of a distinguished family. Her brother, Leopold Lindtberg, was a noted Swiss film and theatre director, and his daughter (Hedwig's niece), Bettina Lindtberg, is an actress.
Relationship with Schenker
Salzer first began to learn about Schenker's ideas through Hans Weisse, a Viennese composer who was one of Schenker's first pupils and a close associate of the Salzer family. When Weisse found a teaching position in the United States at the David Mannes School of Music in 1931, he suggested that four of his students study with Schenker: Trude Kral, Greta Kraus, Manfred Willfort, and Salzer. They began their studies with Schenker in October 1931 as a seminar. The work of this seminar was significant because it eventually lead to the publication of the Fünf Urlinie-Tafeln in 1932 (published by Universal Edition and the David Mannes School of Music). Thirty-seven years later, in 1969, Salzer would have the Five Graphic Music Analyses republished under Dover publications, and include a new introduction and a glossary giving English analytic terminology. A second volume of the Fünf Urlinie-Tafeln was planned and worked on by Schenker and his seminar, but the planned publication never came to fruition. The analyses pertaining to this second edition survive in the Salzer Papers in Mappe 28 (Series 2, sub-series 5). Salzer also saved his correspondence with Schenker, found in Series 1, sub-series 3b.
In the fall of 1934 Schenker decided to disband his seminar, but asked Salzer to remain and study with him privately. This relationship did not last long, for Schenker died in January of 1935. Salzer kept in touch with Jeanette Schenker during the next few years. In April of 1936 he made an agreement with her to purchase a portion of Schenker's Nachlass . The remainder of the Nachlass was sold or given away to various people; the largest portion of given to Ernst Oster before he fled Vienna. Salzer and Jonas published an essay describing the contents of the Nachlass in Heft I of Der Dreiklang, which mentions important items in Salzer's possession, such as Schenker's study of thoroughbass and his commentary on C.P.E. Bach's Versuch über die wahre Art das Clavier zu spielen.
Salzer's most important appointment during his lifetime was certainly at the Mannes School of Music. Salzer continued the work of the late Hans Weisse (who died unexpectedly in 1940) in disseminating Schenker's work to the American music world by devising the first theory curriculum based on Schenkerian principles. Through the use of Salzer's curriculum, Mannes became an epicenter for Schenkerian studies. During Salzer's first decade at Mannes he taught a wide variety of subjects, including theory, history, composition, pedagogy, and piano (according to the prospectuses of Mannes from the time). Salzer even entitled his first analysis course "Structural Hearing," a name that would become the eventual title of his book in 1952. In addition, the whole theory curriculum at Mannes underwent enormous changes during Salzer's time there. Much of this curriculum still exists under the title "Techniques of Music" (a name first used in the prospectus to Mannes of 1955, Salzer's last year as full-time member of the Mannes faculty).
Salzer's work as Director of the school 1946-55 was also exemplary. A year after the publication of Structural Hearing, he would achieve another milestone for the school: he would transform the Mannes School of Music into the Mannes College of Music, thus giving the school a more academic focus to combine with a musical education. Salzer stayed one more year at Mannes after he stepped down as director in 1955, but would return from 1962 to 1981 to work with the school in various capacities as teacher and advisor. Between 1977 and 1979 Salzer played a role in preventing the board of trustees of Mannes from merging with the Manhattan School of Music, as many feared this would bring about the extinction of Mannes. Historically, this debacle resulted in the removal of the trustees in May 1979 by the Board of Regents for "collective neglect of duty" (as reported in the New York Times, May 25, 1979), the first time this had happened in the State of New York since the 1920's, and only the second time in the State's history.
Salzer's dissemination of Schenker theory was not limited to the classroom or to his pedagogical works: his work as editor and scholar were also key factors. Beginning in the 1960's, Salzer worked on The Music Forum (co-edited with William Mitchell), a periodical of enormous scope. The essays published in The Music Forum ranged extensively-from analyses of and essays on pre-tonal, tonal, post-tonal, and non-Western music, to manuscript studies, studies in rhythm, translations of theoretical treatises, and mathematical aspects of music. Issues of this periodical have appeared between 1967 and 1987. Salzer worked with Mitchell on vols. 1-3, and later with Carl Schachter on vols. 4-6. In many ways The Music Forum can be seen as an extension of Salzer's earlier work with Jonas on Der Dreiklang, albeit one with a different cultural orientation and epistemic outlook. Salzer himself would publish an article in each volume (vols. 1-5) on a variety of topics. Essays in The Music Forum were often extensive monographs, and the graphics represented some of the finest autography of the time.
Salzer's own scholarly interests ranged from the analysis of tonal music and the analysis of variations, to the history of tonality (with a particular focus on the analysis of medieval repertoire) and concert programming/musical criticism.
Salzer had a deep commitment to the music of the 18th and 19th centuries, given his musical upbringing in his family and his analytical studies with Weisse and Schenker. His first published work was a study of the meaning of ornamentation in the keyboard music of C.P.E. Bach, an article that used as its basis Schenker's Ein Beitrag zur Ornamentik and an article that Schenker would praise him for in a letter from 1930). His dissertation under Guido Adler was a study of sonata form in Franz Schubert. Much of Salzer's work with tonal music in the Salzer Papers was most likely intended for the classroom or for his pedagogical texts. However, there are also significant analytic studies of tonal music, especially of variations (see below).
Salzer's interest in the history of tonality from a Schenkerian perspective was also an ubiquitous interest throughout his life. This was certainly due to his combined training as a musicologist and music theorist. His first book, Sinn und Wesen der abendländischen Mehrstimmigkeit, explored the development of Western polyphony from the 11th century through 16th century. Many of these same ideas reappear-albeit in a condensed and slightly altered form-in Structural Hearing and Counterpoint in Composition . In The Music Forum vol. 1 Salzer would publish another extended monograph on the development of Western polyphony, this time with a focus on the early work of Aquitanian polyphony and the Notre-Dame School. This early period of polyphony in fact became a focus of Salzer's work in the history of tonality. In the Salzer Papers there are a number of unpublished essays and analyses/notes from a number of sources: the Magnus Liber, and the Bamberg, Montpellier and Las Huelgas codices, in addition to contemporaneous sources on medieval music, such as Friedrich Ludwig, Marius Schneider, Heinrich Husman, William Waite, Pierre Aubry, and others. This interest in the history of tonality continued up to Salzer's last publication, an analysis of a Monteverdi madrigal in Aspects of Schenkerian Theory .
In his later years, Salzer was involved in the analysis of variations. This project is heavily represented in the Salzer Papers, most likely due to its temporal proximity to Salzer's death. However, Salzer's only published work on variations appears in vol. 5 of The Music Forum, "The Variation Movement of Mozart's Divertimento K. 563." The Papers include several variations projects, notably Beethoven's Diabelli Variations, J.S. Bach's Goldberg Variations, Brahms's Symphony no. 4 (Finale), and Mozart's Piano Concerto in c minor, K. 491 (Finale). Salzer had also worked extensively on an analysis of J.S. Bach's Chaconne in d minor for solo violin for an essay in The Music Forum, which is currently in the possession of the journal. Salzer must have had an interest in variations dating back at least to the 1940's (if not earlier), since he wrote a published review of a book on variations in the Journal of American Musicological Society in 1949.
Another aspect of Salzer's work concerned concert programming and musical criticism. Salzer's work with concert programming and musical criticism. Salzer only published one article on this subject, "Historical Aspects of Concert Programming," but wrote a number of other essays such as "Concert Programs in Historical Perspective," "Musical Criticism and Public Opinion," and "Program Building in Historical Perspective," all contained in the Salzer Papers.
Collection of manuscripts
Salzer was also a collector of rare items and manuscripts. His most highly valued item, an autograph manuscript of Beethoven's Cello Sonata, op. 69, was bequeathed to him by the Wittgenstein family. Salzer invited Lewis Lockwood, a noted Beethoven scholar, to publish a detailed essay on the manuscript, which appeared in vol. 2 of The Music Forum, and won the the American Musicological Society's Alfred Einstein award in 1971. Another item of importance was the autograph manuscript of Mozart's Rondo for Piano, K. 494. Salzer believed (like Schenker) in the importance of manuscript studies in order to gain a more intimate understanding of musical composition. Salzer inherited this interest in manuscripts from the Wittgenstein family, which owned a number of original manuscripts. In addition to original musical manuscripts, Salzer owned a number of other manuscripts: letters, first edition scores, portraits and engravings, etc. A few of these items exist as photocopies in the Salzer Papers (an autographed letter from Joseph Haydn, for example), in addition to some original items (a postcard from Peter Altenberg and a first edition score of C.P.E. Bach) A citation for the full catalogue of The Salzer Collection published by Sotheby's appears at the end of this essay. After Salzer's death, his wife Hedwig auctioned off the Salzer Collection through Sotheby's in 1990.
Salzer health began to suffer in 1981; he died on August 12, 1986. His wife Hedwig received an honorary doctorate from the Mannes College of Music in 1987. Upon her death on February 9, 2000, Salzer's papers were donated to the Music Division of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
List of works by Felix Salzer (in chronological order)
1) 1928. "Die Sonatenform bei Franz Schubert," Studien zur Musikwissenschaft 15: 86-125; portion of 1926 dissertation from the University of Vienna with the same title.
2) 1930. "Über die Bedeutung der Ornamente in Philipp Emanuel Bachs Klavierwerken," Zeitschrift für Musikwissenschaft (April): 398-418.
3) 1935. Sinn und Wesen der abendländischen Mehrstimmigkeit. Wien: Saturn-Verlag.
4) April 1937-February 1938. Editor, with Oswald Jonas. Der Dreiklang: Monatschrift für Musik (nine issues). Hildesheim: Georg Olms Verlag.
[Articles by Salzer in Der Dreiklang ]:
4a) 1937. "Die historische Sendung Heinrich Schenkers," Der Dreiklang I (April): 2-12.
4b) 1937. [Unattributed, but most likely by Salzer and/or Jonas]. "Der Nachlaß Heinrich Schenkers," Der Dreiklang I (April): [pages]
1949. Review of The Technique of Variation; A Study of the Instrumental Variation from Antonio de Cabezón to Max Reger by Robert U. Nelson. Journal of the American Musicological Society Vol. 2, No. 3 (Autumn), 188-191.
6) 1950. "Directed Motion-The Basic Factor of Musical Coherence." Abstract of paper delivered in New York, December 28, 1949 at the annual meeting of the American Musicological Society. Journal of the American Musicological Society III/2 (Summer): 157.
7) 1952. Structural Hearing: Tonal Coherence in Music . New York: Charles Boni; Reprinted in 1962 by Dover Publications; Two German editions (1960, Otto Heinrich Noetzel Verlag; 1977, Heinrichhofen's Verlag).
8) 1957. "Historical Aspects of Concert Programs." Etude 75/2 (February): 16, 46, 49-50.
9) 1967-1987. Editor, with William Mitchell and Carl Schachter. The Music Forum . Six volumes (vols. I-III by Mitchell and Salzer, vols. IV-VI Salzer and Schachter). New York: Columbia University Press.
[Articles by Salzer in The Music Forum ]:
9a) 1967. "Tonality in Early Medieval Polyphony," The Music Forum I: 35-98.
9b) 1970. "Chopin's Nocturne in C Minor, opus 27, no.1." The Music Forum II, 283-97.
9c) 1973. "Chopin's Etude in F Major, opus 25, no.3: the Scope of Tonality." The Music Forum III, 281-90.
9d) 1976. "Haydn's Fantasia from the String Quartet, opus 76, no.6." The Music Forum IV, 161-94.
9e) 1980. "The Variation Movement of Mozart's Divertimento K. 563." The Music Forum, v: 257-316.
10) 1969. Editor and translator, with introduction. Five Graphic Music Analyses . New York: Dover.
11) 1969. Co-author with Carl Schachter, Counterpoint in Composition . New York: McGraw Hill.
12) 1972. Review of The Compositional Process of J.S. Bach: A Study of the Autograph Scores of the Vocal Works, by Robert Lewis Marshall. Journal of Music Theory 16/1-2: 220-237.
13) 1973. "Schenkerian Thought: Its Application and Impact Today." Keynote address delivered to the Music Teacher's National Association conference in Philadelphia.
14) 1983. "Heinrich Schenker and Historical Research: Monteverdi's Madrigal Oimè, se tanto amate," in Aspects of Schenkerian Theory . ed. by David Beach. New Haven: Yale University Press: 135-152.
Sources and References
Berry, David Carson. 2003. "Hans Weisse and the Dawn of American Schenkerism." The Journal of Musicology 20/1: 104-156.
Eybl, Martin and Evelyn Fink-Mennel, eds. 2006. Appendix to Schenker-Traditionen : Eine Wiener Schule der Musiktheorie und ihre internationale Verbreitung. Wien: Böhlau Verlag.
Fink-Mennel, Evelyn. 2003. "Analyse nach Heinrich Schenker an Wiener Musiklehranstalten. Ein Beitrag zur Schenker-Rezeption in Wien." In Rebell und Visionär: Heinrich Schenker in Wien, ed. by Evelyn Fink. Wien: Verlag Lafite.
Forte, Allen. 2006. Schenkerians and Schoenbergians in America. In Schenker-Traditionen : Eine Wiener Schule der Musiktheorie und ihre internationale Verbreitung. Wien: Böhlau Verlag: 83-90.
Gurlitt, Wilibald. 1961. "Salzer, Felix." Riemman Musik Lexikon (Personenteil). Mainz: B. Schott's Söhne: 570.
Huber, Martin. Wittgenstein and Salzer family tree online . Stammbaum und Familienchronik. http://stammbaum.med-huber.at/individual.php (accessed August 28, 2007).
Jonas Memorial Collection. 1979. Materials drawn from the collection pertaining to Salzer's life. Riverside: University of California Riverside.
Kosovsky, Robert. 1999. "Levels of understanding: an introduction to Schenker's Nachlass." In Schenker Studies 2, ed. by Carl Schachter and Hedi Siegel. New York: Cambridge University Press: 3-11.
Mannes School of Music. 1930-1986. Prospectuses of the Mannes School of Music, 1930-1986. Archive of the Mannes School of Music. New York.
McGuiness, Brian. 2005. Young Ludwig: Wittgenstein's Life 1889-1921 . New York: Oxford University Press.
New York Times. 1938-2000. Select Articles from the NY Times between 1938-2000 pertaining to Felix and Hedwig Salzer, and the Mannes School/College of Music. Accessed through Proquest Historical Newspapers, The New York Times. http://proquest.umi.com/pqdweb (accessed August 24, 2007).
Novack, Saul. 2007. "Salzer, Felix." Grove Music Online. http://www.grovemusic.com /shared/views/article.html?section=music.24440 (accessed August 28, 2007).
______. 1986. "Salzer, Felix." In The New Grove Dictionary of American Music, ed. by Hitchcock, H. Wiley and Stanley Sadie. London: Macmillan Press: 127.
Oster Collection. 1990. Materials drawn from the collection pertaining to Salzer's life. New York: New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.
Salzer Papers. 2007. Materials drawn from the collection pertaining to Felix Salzer's life. New York: New York Library for the Performing Arts.
Schachter, Carl. 2006. "Felix Salzer." In Schenker-Traditionen : Eine Wiener Schule der Musiktheorie und ihre internationale Verbreitung, ed. by Martin Eybl and Evelyn Fink-Mennel. Wien: Böhlau Verlag: 105-112.
Siegel, Hedi. 1990. "A source for Schenker's study of thoroughbass: his annotated copy of J.S. Bach's Generalbassbüchlein ." In Schenker Studies, ed. by Hedi Siegel. New York: Cambridge University Press: 15-28.
______. 1999. "When "Freier Satz" was part of Kontrapunkt : a preliminary report." In Schenker Studies 2, ed. by Carl Schachter and Hedi Siegel. New York: Cambridge University Press: 12-25.
______. 2006. "The Pictures and Words of an Artist ("von einem Künstler"): Heinrich Schenker's Fünf Urlinie-Tafeln." In Schenker-Traditionen : Eine Wiener Schule der Musiktheorie und ihre internationale Verbreitung, ed. by Martin Eybl and Evelyn Fink-Mennel. Wien: Böhlau Verlag: 203-220.
______. 2007. "Salzer, Felix." Schenker Correspondence Project . http://mt.ccnmtl.columbia.edu/schenker/profile/person/salzer_felix.html (accessed August 28, 2007).
Slonimsky, Nicholas, ed. "Salzer, Felix." Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, 7th ed. New York: Macmillian Books, 1984: [pp.]
Sotheby's Auctioneers. 1990. The Salzer Collection: Fine Music and Continental Manuscripts . Auction in London on Thursday 17th May, 1990; includes introductory essays by Saul Novack and Carl Schachter.
U.S. Department of Labor. 2007. "Felix Salzer's Immigration Records." List or Manifest of Alien Passenger for the United States, 1937-1939. http://www.ancestry.com (accessed May 2007).
From the guide to the Felix Salzer papers, 1897-1995, (The New York Public Library. Music Division.)
- Schenkerian analysis
- Music theorists