Kurth, Ernst

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Kurth, Ernst

Kurth, Ernst, eminent Austrian-born Swiss musicologist; b. Vienna, June 1, 1886; d. Bern, Aug. 2, 1946. He studied with Adler at the Univ. of Vienna (Ph.D., 1908, with the diss. Der Stil der opera seria von Gluck bis zum Orfeo; publ. in Studien zur Musikwissenschaft, I, 1913), then completed his Habilitation at the Univ. of Bern in 1912 with his Die Voraussetzungen der theoretischen Harmonik und der tonalen Darstellungssystems (publ. in Bern, 1913). He was made a reader (1920) and a prof, of musicology (1927) there. His principal work, Grundlagen des linearen Kontrapunkts: Bachs melodische Polyphonie (Bern, 1917; 5th ed., 1956), profoundly influenced musicology and practical composition, and also introduced the term “linear counterpoint/’ A companion vol., Romantische Harmonik und ihre Krise in Wagners Tristan (Bern, 1920; 3rd ed., 1923), is a psychological analysis of Romantic music. His Musikpsychologie (Berlin, 1931; 2nd ed., 1947) represents a synthesis of his theoretical ideas on musical perception. He also publ. Anton Bruckner (2 vols., Berlin, 1925). Le Rothfarb ed. and tr. Ernst Kurth: Selected Writings (Cambridge and N.Y., 1991).


L. Rothfarb, E. K. as Theorist and Analyst (Philadelphia, 1988).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire

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