Gustav Jacobsthal - Ein Musikologe im deutschen Kaiserreich
This first biography of Gustav Jacobsthal (1845-1912), one of the founders of modern musicology, is focused on the history of ideas and of culture. It is based on previously unexamined sources including Jacobsthal’s letters and the memoirs of his son Erwin.
The life and work of the musicologist, choirmaster and composer are revealed in the contexts of his Jewish family, of the academic institutions in Berlin and of conditions at the universities of Vienna and Strassburg. Contacts with colleagues, friends and pupils including Heinrich Bellermann, Wilhelm Scherer and Albert Schweitzer are given their due emphasis.
The second part of the biography describes Jacobsthal’s attitudes as a researcher, in particular the relevance of his empirical and sceptical method for modern musicology. Jacobsthal was committed to the plurality of the humanities in his time and took inspiration from, among others, Philipp Jaffé, Hermann Grassmann and Carl Stumpf.
Gustav Jacobsthal went his own way between the contradictory traditions of the Berlin vocal school, Judaism, cultural Protestantism, the restoration of the Catholic choral tradition, classicism and the school that followed it and wrongly invoked its name.