Drafts, Page Proofs, and Revisions of Schenker's Der freie Satz: The Collection at the Austrian National Library and Schenker's Generative Process
Description: When Schenkerian theory began to influence scholarly circles in the United States, the primary - although not the only - work to which scholars had access was Schenker's last monograph, Der freie Satz. Reading textual passages and examining the many musical graphs in the companion volume of examples influenced their concept of the fundamental structure as Schenker understood it, as well as the relationship of the other levels (Schichten) to the larger structure. The problem is that most of the second generation of Schenkerian scholars were reading the 1956 second German edition, not the 1935 first German edition. The second edition had been altered for textual and musical content by Schenker's student, Oswald Jonas - so there is already a disconnect between the original version and the text scholars were reading at that time (the 1950s, 60s, and 70s). Furthermore, many younger North Americans were insufficiently fluent in German to be able to read the work in the original language. In order to make Schenker's treatise accessible to English-speaking scholars, Ernst Oster set about translating the work into English, a task completed in 1979 just after his death. The text was based on the second German edition (ed. Jonas, Vienna, 1956), but the first edition (Vienna, 1935) was consulted also. Examples that were changed from the 1935 edition in the 1956 edition were not restored. The first problem for those interested in gaining a more accurate understanding of Schenker's theories is that the first German edition is still unavailable in complete translation. The second and more serious issue involves the genesis of the first German edition. All these problems concerning the publication of the various editions have led to an incomplete understanding of the work. Complicating matters is the relatively unexplored state of the late manuscript of Der freie Satz ...
Date: May 2009
Creator: Auerbach, Jennifer Sadoff