Blume, Friedrich

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Blume, Friedrich

eminent German musicologist and editor; b. Schluchtern, Jan. 5, 1893; d. there, Nov. 22, 1975. He was the son of a Prussian government functionary. He first studied medicine in Eisenach; in 1911 he went to the Univ. of Munich, where he began musico-logical studies; then went to the univs. of Leipzig and Berlin. During World War I, he served in the German army; he was taken prisoner by the British and spent 3 years in a prison camp in England. In 1919 he resumed his studies at the Univ. of Leipzig, where he took his Ph.D. in 1921 with the diss. Studien zur Vorgeschichte der Orchestersuite im 15. und 16. Jahrhundert (publ. in Leipzig, 1925); in 1923 he became a lecturer in music at the Univ. of Berlin; in 1925 he completed his Habilitation there with Das monodische Prinzip in der protestant-ischen Kirchenmusik (publ. in Leipzig, 1925); was made Privatdozent there that same year; also lectured in music history at the Berlin-Spandau School of Church Music from 1928 to 1934. In 1934 he joined the faculty of the Univ. of Kiel, where he was prof. from 1938 until his retirement in 1958; was then made prof. emeritus. In 1952 he was made a corresponding member of the American Musicological Soc. Blume was an authority on Lutheran church music; his Die evangelische Kirchenmusik was publ. in Bucken’s Handbuch der Musikwissen-schafr, X (1931; 2nd ed., rev., as Geschichte der evangelis-chen Kirchenmusik, 1965; Eng. tr., 1974, as Protestant Church Music: A History). He prepared a collected edition of the works of M. Praetorius (21 vols., Berlin, 1928^41); was general ed. of Das Chorwerk, a valuable collection of early polyphonic music (1929–38); also ed. of Das Erbe deutscher Musik (1935–43). In 1943 he was entrusted with the preparation of the monumental encyclopedia Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart (14 vols., Kassel, 1949-68); following its publication, he undertook the further task of preparing an extensive supplement, which contained numerous additional articles and corrections; its publication was continued after his death by his daughter, Ruth Blume. He also wrote Wesen und Werden deutscher Musik (Kassel, 1944); Johann Sebastian Bach im Wandel der Geschichte (Kassel, 1947; Eng. tr., 1950, as Two Centuries of Bach); Goethe und die Musik (Kassel, 1948); Was ist Musik? (Kassel, 1959); Umrisse eines neuen Bach-Bildes (Kassel, 1962). His life’s work was a study in the practical application of his vast erudition and catholic interests in musicological scholarship.


A. Abert and W. Pfannkuch, eds., Festschrift F B. zum 70. Geburtstag (Kassel, 1963).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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