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German writer on music.

Career Summary

A pupil of Hugo Riemann (1905), Roth worked as a music critic in Leipzig (1907-10) and Munich (1910-20), taught at the Conservatory in Baden Baden (1921-24) and at the Hochschule für Musik in Stuttgart (1925-35), then as a music critic in Hamburg (1932-35), settling finally in Berlin.

His books include Heinrich Kaspar Schmid (Munich, 1921), and Elemente der Stimmführung (Stuttgart, 1926). He also edited works by J. S. Bach, Handel and C. P. E. Bach and others, including the Schemelli songbook (copy as OJ 25/1, which has annotations in Heinrich's and Jeanette's hands), which Schenker used extensively for teaching purposes. He also translated opera libretti.

Roth and Schenker

Schenker and Roth (already a friend of Schenker's pupil Otto Vrieslander) evidently became acquainted in 1912. Roth's work as a critic included remarks on Die letzten fünf Sonaten von Beethoven ... op. 109 and Harmonielehre in 1914 (both = OC 2/p. 38) and a later personal view of Schenker in 1931 (=OC 2/p. 84).

In 1914, Schenker recommended Universal Edition to publish editions that Roth had produced of Handel cantatas, stating that Peters had already published a previous edition (see Bibliography, below), and that it was a highly professional piece of work (WSLB 202, April 1, 1914). Schenker also praised Roth's edition of the J. S. Bach Passacaglia in C minor, seeing in it his own ideas. There are many entries concerning Roth in Schenker's diary. 1932 saw a break in their good relations, apparently for personal reasons.

Correspondence with Schenker

Correspondence from Roth to Schenker survives as OJ 13/30 (1912-33: 87 items) and OC 24/8 (1921: 1 item), and from Schenker to Roth as OJ 5/33 (1926: 1 item).


  • Bach, J. S.: Magnificat, ed. K. Straube, piano/organ accomp. by H. Roth (Ed. No. 3392, not before 1906)
  • Bach, J. S.: Lieder, 25 geistliche, aus dem Schemellischen Gesangbuch für 1 Singstimme und basso continuo, piano/organ accomp. by H. Roth (Ed. No. 3392, pubd 1922) [copy as OJ 25/1, with annotations by Heinrich and Jeanette Schenker]
  • Bach, C. P. E.: 30 Geistliche Lieder für eine Singstimme und Klavier, ed. H. Roth with detailed instructions as to ornamentation (Ed. No. 3748, pubd 1922)
  • Handel: Gesänge für eine Frauenstimme. Aus Opern und Oratorien ausgewählt, ed. with keyboard accomp. by H. Roth (Ed. No. 3493, pubd 1916)


  • Baker's1971
  • Federhofer, Hellmut, Heinrich Schenker nach Tagebüchern und Briefen ... (Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 1985), pp. 196-98 et passim
  • "Herman Max Johannes Roth," in Eybl, M. & Fink-Mennel, E., eds, Schenker-Traditionen: Eine Wiener Schule der Musiktheorie und ihre internationale Verbreitung (Vienna: Böhlau, 2006), p. 245
  • Communication from John Rothgeb
  • Communication from C. F. Peters, Frankfurt/Main

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