Schering, Arnold, eminent German music historian; b. Breslau, April 2, 1877; d. Berlin, March 7, 1941. His father was a merchant. The family moved to Dresden, where Schering began to take violin lessons with Blumner. In 1896 he went to Berlin, where he studied violin with Joachim, hoping to start a concert career; he organized a tour with the pianist Hinze-Reinhold, but soon gave up virtuoso aspirations, and in 1898 entered classes in musicology with Fleischer and Stumpf at the Univ. of Berlin; then took courses with Sandberger at the Univ. of Munich and with Kretzschmar at the Univ. of Leipzig, obtaining his Ph.D. in 1902 with the diss. Geschichte des Instrumental- (Violin-) Konzerts bis A. Vivaldi (publ. in Leipzig, 1905; second ed., 1927); subsequently completed his Habilitation there in 1907 with his Die Anfänge des Oratoriums (publ. in an aug. ed. as Geschichte des Oratoriums, Leipzig, 1911). He devoted himself to teaching and musical journalism; from 1904 to 1939 he was ed. of the Bach-Jahrbuch. From 1909 to 1923 he taught at the Leipzig Cons.; from 1915 to 1920 he was prof. of the history and aesthetics of music at the Univ. of Leipzig; then was prof. of music at the Univ. of Halle (1920–28); subsequently was prof. of musicology at the Univ. of Berlin (1928–41). In 1928 he became president of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Musikwissenschaft. In his voluminous publications, he strove to erect an infallible system of aesthetic principles derived from musical symbolism and based on psychological intuition, ignoring any contradictions that ensued from his axiomatic constructions, hi his book Beethoven in neuer Deutung, publ. in 1934 at the early dawn of the Nazi era, he even attempted to interpret Beethoven’s music in terms of racial German superiority, alienating many of his admirers. But in his irrepressible desire to establish an immutable sequence of historic necessity, he compiled an original and highly informative historical tabulation of musical chronology, Tabellen zur Musikgeschichte, which was publ. in 1914 and went through several eds.
Musikalische Bildung und Erziehung zum musikalischen Hören (Leipzig, 1911; fourth ed., 1924); Tabellen zur Musikgeschichte (Leipzig, 1914; fourth ed., 1934; fifth ed., 1962, by H.J. Moser); Aufführungspraxis alter Musik (Berlin, 1931); Geschichte der Musik in Beispielen (Leipzig, 1931; second ed., 1954; Eng. tr., 1950); Beethoven in neuer Deutung (Berlin, 1934); Beethoven und die Dichtung (Berlin, 1936); Johann Sebastian Bachs Leipziger Kirchenmusik (Leipzig, 1936; second ed., 1954); Von grossen Meistern der Musik (Leipzig, 1940); Das Symbol in der Musik (ed. by W. Gurlitt; Berlin, 1941); Über Kantaten J.S. Bachs (ed. by F. Blume; Berlin, 1942; second ed., 1950); Vom musikalischen Künstwerk (ed. by F. Blume; Berlin, 1949; second ed., 1951); Humor, Heldentum, Tragik bei Beethoven (Strasbourg, 1955).
H. Osthoff, ed., Festschrift A. S. zum 60. Geburtstag (Berlin, 1937).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire