Harich-Schneider, Eta (Margarete)

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Harich-Schneider, Eta (Margarete)

Harich-Schneider, Eta (Margarete), German musicologist and harpsichordist; b. Oranienburg, Nov. 16, 1897; d. Vienna, Oct. 16, 1986. She studied piano and musicology in Berlin, making her debut in 1924 with the first performance of Hindemith’s 1922 Suite. She then studied harpsichord with Landowska (1929–35), subsequently forming an early music ensemble; then became a prof, at the Berlin Hochschule für Musik, but was dismissed in 1940 when she refused to join the Nazi party. She then fled to Tokyo, where she directed the music dept. of the U.S. Army Coll. and also taught Western music at the imperial court (1947–49). After her move to N.Y. in 1949, she pursued Japanese studies at Columbia Univ.; she also took courses in sociology at the New School for Social Research (M.A., 1955). From 1955 to 1961 she taught harpsichord at the Vienna Academy of Music. She wrote important books on harpsichord technique and repertoire and on Japanese art music; also made notable recordings of works by the Baroque masters and of collections of Japanese music. She received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1955.


Die Kunst des Cembalospiels (Kassel, 1939; 3rd ed., 1970); Gendai ongaku to Nippon no sakkyokusha (Contemporary Music and Japanese Composers; Tokyo, 1950); The Harpsichord: An Introduction to Technique, Style and the Historical Sources (Kassel, 1954; 3rd ed., 1973); A History of Japanese Music (London, 1973).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire