Stumpf, (Friedrich) Carl

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Stumpf, (Friedrich) Carl

Stumpf, (Friedrich) Carl, eminent German psychologist, acoustician, and musicologist; b. Wiesentheid, Lower Franconia, April 21, 1848; d. Berlin, Dec. 25, 1936. He studied philosophy and theology at the Univ. of Würzburg, and philosophy and natural sciences at the Univ. of Göttingen, where he took his Ph.D. (1870) and completed his Habilitation (1873). He was a prof, of philosophy at the Univs. of Würzburg (1873-79), Prague (1879-84), Halle (1884-89), Munich (1889-93), and Berlin (1893-1928). In 1893 he founded the Psychological Inst. in Berlin; its purpose was a scientific analysis of tonal psychology as it affected musical perception; but, realizing the utterly speculative and arbitrary premises of his theories, he revised them, and proposed the concepts of Konkordanz and Diskordanz to describe the relative euphony of triads and chords of several different notes. With his pupils Hornbostel and Abraham, he founded the Berlin Phonogrammarchiv in 1900. Stumpf publ. Beiträge zur Akustik und Musikwissenschaft (1898-1924), which incorporated his evolving theories, and, with Hornbostel, issued the Sammelbände für vergleichende Musikwissenschaft (1922-23); also contributed numerous articles to scholarly publications.


Tonpsychologie (2 vols., Leipzig, 1883, 1890; reprint, Hilversum, 1965); Geschichte des Konsonanzbegriffs (Munich, 1901); Die Anfänge der Musik (Leipzig, 1911); Die Sprachlaute. Experimentell-phonetische Untersuchungen nebst einem Anhang über Instrumentalklänge (Berlin, 1926).


Festscrift für C. S.(Berlin, 1919); C. S. zum 75. Geburtstag (Berlin, 1923); N. Hartmann, Gedächtnisrede C. S. (Berlin, 1937).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire