Wachsmann, Klaus P(hilipp)

views updated

Wachsmann, Klaus P(hilipp)

Wachsmann, Klaus P(hilipp), noted German ethnomusicologist; b. Berlin, March 8, 1907; d. Tisbury, Wiltshire, July 17, 1984. He received training in musicology with Blume and Schering and in comparative musicology with Hornbostel and Sachs at the Univ. of Berlin (1930-32); after further studies with Feilerer at the Univ. of Fribourg in Switzerland (Ph.D., 1935, with the diss. Untersuchungen zum vorgregorianischen Gesang;publ, in Regensburg, 1935), he pursued linguistic studies at the London School of Oriental and African Studies. He then was active in Uganda, where he was made curator of the Uganda Museum in Kampala in 1948; after serving as scientific officer in charge of ethnological collections at the Wellcome Foundation in London (1958-63), he taught in the music dept. and Inst. of Ethnomusicology at the Univ. of Calif, at Los Angeles (1963-68), then was prof, in the school of music and dept. of linguistics at Northwestern Univ. in Evanston, 111. (from 1968). He was an authority on African music, specializing in organology and tribal music of Uganda. His years spent outside of academic circles made him an independent and imaginative thinker about music in its relation to culture and philosophy. C. Seeger ed. Essays for a Humanist: An Offering to Klaus Wachsmann (N.Y., 1977).


Folk Musicians in Uganda (Kampala, 1956); ed. An International Catalogue of Published Records of Folk Music (London, 1960); ed. A Select Bibliography of Music in Africa (London, 1965); ed. Essays on Music and History in Africa (Evanston, 111., 1971).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire