Skip to main content

Dahlhaus, Carl

Dahlhaus, Carl

Dahlhaus, Carl , eminent German musicologist and editor; b. Hannover, June 10, 1928; d. Berlin, March 13, 1989. He studied musicology at the Univ. of Göttingen with Gerber; also at the Univ. of Freiburg with Gurlitt; received his Ph.D. from the Univ. of Göttingen in 1953 with the diss. Studien zu den Messen Josquins des Pres. He was a dramatic adviser for the Deutsches Theater in Göttingen from 1950 to 1958; from 1960 to 1962, was an ed. of the Stuttgarter Zeitung; then joined the Inst. für Musikalische Landesforschung of the Univ. of Kiel; completed his Habilitation there in 1966 with his Untersuchungen uber die Entstehung der harmonischen Tonalität (publ. in Kassel, 1968; Eng. tr., 1991, as Studies on the Origin of Harmonic Tonality). In 1966–67 he was a research fellow at the Univ. of Saarbrücken; in 1967 he became prof. of music history at the Technical Univ. of Berlin. In 1984 he was made a corresponding member of the American Musicological Soc. He was the ed.-in-chief of the complete edition of Wagner’s works, which began publication in 1970; he was also an ed. of the Supplement to the 12th edition of the Riemann Musik-Lexikon (2 vols., Mainz, 1972, 1975); with Hans Eggebrecht, of the Brockhaus-Riemann Musik-Lexikon (2 vols., Wiesbaden and Mainz, 1978–79); and of Pipers Enzyklopadie des Musiktheaters (from 1986); in addition, he was co-ed, of the Neue Zeitschrift fur Mésik (1972–74), Melos/NZ fur Musik (1975–78), Musik und Bildung (1978–80), and Musica (from 1981). He was one of the foremost musicologists of the second half of the 20th century. A scholar of great erudition, he wrote authoritatively and prolifically on a vast range of subjects, extending from the era of Josquin to the present day.


Musikästhetik (Cologne, 1967; 4th ed., 1986; Eng. tr., 1982, as Aesthetics of Music)- Studien zur Trivialmusik des19. Jahrhunderts (Regensburg, 1967); Analyse und Werturteil (Mainz, 1970; Eng. tr., 1983, as Analysis and Value Judgment); Das Drama Richard Wagners als musikalisches Kunstwerk (Regensburg, 1970); Richard Wagner: Werk und Wirkung (Regensburg, 1971); Wagners Konzeption des musikalischen Dramas (Regensburg, 1971); Richard Wagners Musikdramen (Velber, 1971; 2nd ed., 1985; Eng. tr., 1979, as Richard Wagner’s Music Dramas); Wagner’s Ästhetik (Bayreuth, 1971); Zwischen Romantik und Moderne: Vier Studien zur Musikgeschichte des spateren 19. Jahrhunderts (Munich, 1974; Eng. tr., 1980, as Between Romanticism and Modernism: Four Studies in the Music of the Later Nineteenth Century); Grundlagen der Musikgeschichte (Cologne, 1977; Eng. tr., 1983, as Foundations of Music History); Die Idee der absoluten Musik (Kassel, 1978; Eng. tr., 1989, as The Idea of Absolute Music); Schonberg und andere: Gesammelte Aufsatze zur Neuen Musik (Mainz, 1978; Eng. tr., 1988, as Schoenberg and the New Music); Die Musik des 19. Jahrhunderts (Wiesbaden, 1980; 2nd ed., 1988; Eng. tr., 1989, as Nineteenth Century Music); Musikalischer Realismus: Zur Musikgeschichte des 19. Jahrhunderts (Munich and Zürich, 1982; Eng. tr., 1985, as Realism in Nineteenth Century Music); with H. de la Motte- Haber, Systematische Musikwissenschaft (Laaber, 1982); Vom Musikdrama zur Literaturoper: Aufsätze zur neueren Operngeschichte (Munich and Salzburg, 1983); with J. Deathridge, Wagner (London, 1984); Die Musiktheorie im 18. und 19. Jahrhundert: Erster Teil: Grundzüge einer Systematik (Darmstadt, 1984); Die Musik des 18. Jahrhunderts (Laaber, 1985); with R. Katz, Contem-plating Music: Source Readings in the Aesthetics of Music (N.Y., 1987); Ludwig van Beethoven und seine Zeit (Laaber, 1987; 2nd ed., 1988; Eng. tr., 1991, as Ludwig van Beethoven: Approaches to His Music); Klassische und romantische Musikasthetik (Laaber, 1988).


H. Danuser et al., eds., Das musikalische Kunstwerk: Geschichte, Ästhetik, Theorie: Festschrift C. D. zum 60. Geburtstag (Laaber, 1988); M. Zimmermann, ed., Oper nach Wagner: In memoriam C. D. (Laaber, 1993).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Dahlhaus, Carl." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . 15 Oct. 2018 <>.

"Dahlhaus, Carl." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . (October 15, 2018).

"Dahlhaus, Carl." Baker’s Biographical Dictionary of Musicians. . Retrieved October 15, 2018 from

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

The Chicago Manual of Style

American Psychological Association

  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.