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Organist and music theorist who taught at Oberlin Conservatory, Ohio, arguably the first to promote Schenker's ideas in teaching and writing in the United States.

Career; Lytle and Schenker

Lytle received his MusB and MusM from Oberlin in 1912 and 1926, and taught at Oberlin as an instructor from 1913, then continuously from 1921 until his retirement in 1949. He was on study leave in Vienna in 1928-30, studied for at least part of that time with Hans Weisse, and wrote to Schenker in 1930. Even before this, he had allegedly wished to introduce Schenker's ideas into his Oberlin teaching, and he seems to have incorporated the ideas he had learned from Weisse into that teaching subsequent to 1930.

Lytle published an article on the state of present-day music in 1931 in which he adopted both the polemical stance and the theoretical conceptual language of Schenker. His later counterpoint book (1940) quotes from Schenker's Kontrapunkt.

Correspondence with Schenker

Three letters from Lytle to Schenker (1930) survive as OJ 12/46; none are known to survive from Schenker to Lytle. In letters to several of his correspondents, Schenker mentioned Lytle as promulgating his ideas in the United States.


  • Lytle, Victor Vaughn, "Music Composition of the Present," The American Organist 14/11 (November 1931), pp. 661-66 [copy as OJ 21/25]
  • Lytle, Victor Vaughn, The Theory and Practice of Strict Counterpoint, Music Students Library (Philadelphia: Oliver Ditson, 1940)


  • Berry, David Carson, "Hans Weisse and the Dawn of American Schenkerism," Journal of Musicology 20/1 (Winter 2003), esp. pp. 148-49
  • Berry, David Carson, "Victor Vaughn Lytle and the Early Proselytism of Schenkerian Ideas in the U.S.," Journal of Schenkerian Studies 1 (Fall 2005), pp. 92-117

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