Biography of Hermann Abert (1871-1927)

German musicologist born on March 25, 1871 in Stuttgart and died in the same city on August 13, 1927. His interest in music comes from the influence that had his father, also musician and author of operas, seven symphonies and various musical works on it. From 1890 to 1895 he/she studied classical and contemporary music in Berlin, under the supervision of H. Bellermann, Fleischer and Friedlaender. It attained the doctorate in Berlin in 1897 with a dissertation on the music of ancient Greece, and completed his Habilitation in 1902 to teach at the University of Halle with a work on the aesthetic foundations of medieval melodies. Attained the position of Professor Emeritus in 1909 and reader in this same University in 1911. In 1920 he/she acceded to the position of Professor at the University of Leipzig (as a successor of Riemann), and in 1923 he/she became professor at the University of Berlin (succeeding Kretzschmar). In 1925 was elected ordinary member of the Prussian Academy of science in Berlin, becoming thus the first musicologist reaching such distinction.

Abert was one of German musicologists who led his generation and one of those who did most to increase consideration of the matter among the followers of the more traditional disciplines of academia. Among his most distinguished pupils were his daughter Anna Amalie, Blume, Fellrer, Gerber and Vetter. This early approach to music was especially based on humanitarian ideals of classical antiquity. Abert studied the effect of music on people and the way in which the social patterns and cultural ideals were expressed through the music of the ages.

Later focused on the dramatic music and especially researched in the history of opera, since I was not interested in the archival and theoretical aspects of musicology. In recent years he/she returned his attention to the music of ancient Greece, with studies that eventually led him to the specific problems of the aesthetics of music in ancient times, the middle ages and their own time. His interest in 19th century and contemporary music was in the works of Beethoven, Schumann, romantic stage and Meyerbeer, which led him to confront the problems specific to opera.

He made many monographs and exemplary editions of major operatic works, among which stand out above the rest its edition of Gluck-Jahrbuch (1913-18), (from 1905, including Niccolò Jomeli als Opernkomponist, 1908), who preceded his great biography of Mozart (1919-1921). This was carried out in general according to the tradition of the great musical biographies of the 19th century (Jahn, Chrysander and Spitta), although he/she also made use of new methods of research. Abert called modestly to work the fifth edition of the biographies of Jahn, although it was a totally independent work. Presented to Mozart in its actual size as a musician, in human terms, at the same time revealed a multitude of sources on many aspects of the art of Mozart.

Others of his publications were Die Lehre von Ethos im der grieschischen das Musik (1899), Die Musikanschaung Mitelalters (1905), Nijommeli (1908), Eiccini (1913) and Luther und die Musik (1924).