Sachs, Curt


Sachs, Curt
born June 29, 1881, Berlin, Ger.
died Feb. 5, 1959, New York, N.Y., U.S.

German-born U.S. musicologist.

He studied clarinet and composition as a teenager but earned a doctorate in art history. After working as an art critic, he returned to musicology, becoming one of the most significant scholars of that field, especially in the systematic study of musical instruments (working with Erich von Hornbostel). After immigrating to the U.S. in 1937, he wrote important textbooks and surveys and supervised the growth of the discipline, lecturing at such institutions as Columbia University and New York University.

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▪ German musicologist
born June 29, 1881, Berlin, Ger.
died Feb. 5, 1959, New York, N.Y., U.S.

      eminent German musicologist, teacher, and authority on musical instruments.

      In his youth Sachs took lessons in piano, theory, and composition. Later, at Berlin University—although he included music history in his studies—he took his doctorate in the history of art (1904). After several years as an art critic and historian, during which time he helped to edit the Monatshefte für kunstwissenschaftliche Literatur (“Monthly Journal for Art Historical Literature”) and worked at the Arts and Crafts Museum in Berlin, Sachs decided to centre his career entirely on music. His plans were interrupted by military service during World War I, after which he returned to Berlin and in 1919 was appointed curator of the State Collection of Musical Instruments. He soon reorganized this outstanding collection, restoring many of its musical instruments to working order. He also commenced teaching at the Berlin University and by 1928 was made professor there as well as at the National Academy of Music.

      In 1933, because he was a Jew, Sachs was dismissed from all his academic positions and was compelled to leave Germany. He went first to Paris, where he joined André Schaeffner at the ethnological museum (now the Musée de l'Homme) and was a visiting professor at the Sorbonne. The next year he began to make the series of recordings known as L'Anthologie Sonore, which served as an invaluable guide to the actual sound of early music. In 1937 he resettled in the United States, teaching at New York University (1937–53) and serving as consultant at the New York Public Library.

      Sachs's last years were filled with recognition and acclaim. As one of the founders of modern organology (the study of the nature and history of musical instruments), he collaborated with Erich von Hornbostel to create the method of classification for musical instruments that is now a standard guide. Sachs's Real-Lexikon der Musikinstrumente (1913, reprinted 1962) is the definitive history of musical instruments. Sachs's other works include World History of the Dance (1937), The Rise of Music in the Ancient World (1943), and The Commonwealth of Art: Style in the Fine Arts, Music and the Dance (1946).

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • SACHS, CURT — (1881–1959), German musicologist. Born in Berlin, Sachs became director of the Berlin state collection of instruments in 1919. The same year he began to lecture at the University of Berlin, and from 1933 to 1937 was adviser to the museum of… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Sachs, Curt — (1881 1959)    German musicologist. Born in Berlin, he studied at the University of Berlin. He worked initially as an art critic, but later embarked on musicological studies. He became director of a collection of musical instruments; subsequently …   Dictionary of Jewish Biography

  • Sachs, Curt — (29 jun. 1881, Berlín, Alemania–5 feb. 1959, Nueva York, N.Y., EE.UU.). Musicólogo estadounidense de origen alemán. En su adolescencia estudió clarinete y composición, sin embargo, obtuvo un doctorado en historia del arte. Después de trabajar… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Curt Sachs — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Curt Sachs (* 29 de Junio 1881 en Berlín; † 5 Febrero 1959 en New York) fue musicólogo y profesor. Fue el fundador de la organología moderna. En su juventud recibió clases de piano, aprendío teoría de la música y… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Curt Sachs — (* 29. Juni 1881 in Berlin; † 5. Februar 1959 in New York) war Musikethnologe und Begründer der wissenschaftlichen Instrumentenkunde. In seiner Jugend nahm er Klavierunterricht, lernte Musiktheorie und Komposition. Später, an der Universität… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Curt Sachs — (June 29, 1881 – February 5, 1959) was a German born but American domiciled musicologist. He was one of the founders of modern organology (the study of musical instruments), and is probably best remembered today for co authoring the Sachs… …   Wikipedia

  • Sachs — Sachs, Hans Sachs, Nelly * * * (as used in expressions) Sachs, Curt Sachs, Nelly (Leonie) Tay Sachs, enfermedad de …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Curt Sachs — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Sachs. Curt Sachs est un musicologue allemand né à Berlin le 29 juin 1881 et mort à New York le 5 février 1959. Il est l un des principaux fondateurs de l organologie (étude des instruments de musique) et le co… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Sachs-Hornbostel System — Diese Systematik von Erich M. von Hornbostel und Curt Sachs ist ein Versuch, die weltweit existierenden Musikinstrumente in ein System zu bringen. Veröffentlicht wurde sie 1914 in der Zeitschrift für Ethnologie.[1] Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Idiophone… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Sachs — /zahks/, n. 1. Hans /hahns/, 1494 1576, German Meistersinger: author of stories, songs, poems and dramatic works. 2. Nelly (Leonie), 1891 1970, German poet and playwright, in Sweden after 1940: Nobel prize 1966. * * * (as used in expressions)… …   Universalium


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