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Geiringer, Karl (Johannes)

Geiringer, Karl (Johannes)

Geiringer, Karl (Johannes), eminent Austrian-American musicologist; b. Vienna, April 26, 1899; d. Santa Barbara, Calif., Jan. 10, 1989. He studied composition with Gal and Stohr, and musicology with Adler and Fischer in Vienna, and then continued his musico-logical studies with Sachs and Johannes Wolf in Berlin. He received his Ph.D. from the Univ. of Vienna with the diss. Die Flankenwirbelinstrumente in der bildenden Kunst (1300–1550) in 1923 (publ. in Tutzing, 1979). In 1930 he became librarian and museum curator of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Vienna. He left Austria in 1938 and went to London, where he worked for the BBC; also taught at the Royal Coll. of Music (1939–40). He then emigrated to the U.S., where he was a visiting prof, at Hamilton Coll., Clinton, N.Y. (194CM1). In 1941 he became a prof, at Boston Univ. and head of graduate studies in music, and in 1962 he was made a prof, at the Univ. of Calif., Santa Barbara; he retired in 1972. In 1955–56 he was president of the American Musicological Soc. In 1959 he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; also was an honorary member of the österreichische Gesellschaft für Musikwissenschaft and of the American chapter of the Neue Bach-Gesellschaft; in addition, was a member of the Joseph Haydn Inst. of Cologne. A music scholar and writer of great erudition, he contributed valuable publications on the Bach family, Haydn, and Brahms. He was general ed. of the Harbrace History of Musical Forms and of the Univ. of Calif., Santa Barbara, Series of Early Music.


With H. Kraus, Fiihrer durch die Joseph Haydn Kollektion im Museum der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien (Vienna, 1930); Joseph Haydn (Potsdam, 1932); Johannes Brahms: Leben und Schaffen eines deutschen Meisters (Vienna, 1935; Eng. tr., 1936; rev. and enl. ed., 1981); Musical Instruments: Their History in Western Culture from the Stone Age to the Present Day (London, 1943; 3rd ed., rev. and enl., 1978, as Instruments in the History of Western Music}; Haydn: A Creative Life in Music (N.Y., 1946; 3rd ed., 1983); A Thematic Catalogue of Haydn’s Settings of Folksongs from the British Isles (Superior, Wise., 1953); The Bach family: Seven Generations of Creative Genius (N.Y., 1954); Music of the Bach Family: An Anthology (Cambridge, Mass., 1955); Johann Sebastian Bach: The Culmination of an Era (N.Y., 1966); This I Remember (Santa Barbara, Calif., 1993).


A. Silver, ed., K. G.: A Checklist of His Publications in Musicology (Santa Barbara, Calif., 1969); H.C. Robbins Landon and R. Chapman, Studies in Eighteenth-Century Music: A Tribute to K. G. on His 70th Birthday (N.Y. and London, 1970).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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