Documents associated with this person:

Viennese music autographer and calligrapher, who produced many of the finest of Schenker's Urlinie-Tafeln.

Tomay: man and company

Tomay's stamped letterhead reads: Spezialanstalt für Musikalische Arbeiten [Special office for musical works] /‒ Georg Tomay ‒ / Wien, I., Fichtegasse 1a Tel. R. 22-419.

(Fichtegasse crosses the Ringstraße close to the Stadtpark.)

Georg Tomay originated the extensive graphs and examples for Schenker’s essay on Beethoven’s "Eroica" Symphony in Das Meisterwerk in der Musik, vol. III (Munich: Drei Masken Verlag, 1930), also the Fünf Urlinie-Tafeln / Five Analyses in Sketchform (New York: David Mannes Music School, 1932) and all the examples of Der freie Satz.

Autography (Autographie) and calligraphy (Kalligraphie) are both processes that obviate the necessity of incising an image into a metal plate (engraving). In autography, the initial image (in Schenker's case music notation or a voice-leading graph) is inscribed the right way round (whereas engraving is done in reverse) on a specially prepared paper using a specialized greasy ink; the resulting sheet is lightly pressed on to a damp lithographic stone or metal plate, causing the image to transfer. — In calligraphy, on the other hand, photography is introduced at the second stage: The hand-drawn original (right way round) is first photographed, thus allowing the size of the image to be varied, and the resultant photograph is transferred to the stone or plate. In an annotation on OC 54/224, May 22, 1930, Otto Erich Deutsch states that the latter process was recommended for Schenker's "Eroica" essay. However, the final sheet of the graphs and examples is signed "Autographie Gg. Tomay Wien I.".

Schenker's opinion of Tomay's work is expressed upon seeing the finished Fünf Urlinie-Tafeln: he wrote to Felix Salzer: The folios are of the noblest beauty, a new unicum as a publication, quite apart from the content. To express appreciation of the external appearance and the content every reader must become ‒ a poet. (FS 40/1, [10], July 16, 1932).

Correspondence between Tomay and Schenker

Twenty-three items of correspondence survive between Georg Tomay and Schenker, most preserved in a folder of correspondence regarding Das Meisterwerk in der Musik vol. III (OC 54/196‒217) for work on the music examples and graphs of Schenker's study of the "Eroica" Symphony, the remainder in a folder concerning the Fünf Urlinie-Tafeln (OC 54/343, 350): from Tomay to Schenker: 11 handwritten letters, three monetary receipts and one invoice; from Schenker to Tomay: eight postal receipts (for which none of the correspondence items are known to survive). These items date between June 23, 1930 and an undated item from June 1932. There are also many references to Tomay in Schenker's diaries and correspondence.


  • Hedi Siegel and Ian Bent

Download all selected files as or or (check files to select/deselect)
Where appropriate save: English and German versions German version only English version only