Documents associated with this entity:

Unfinished and unpublished work by Schenker, originating in 1907.

Historical Record

Schenker first conceived his "neue Formenlehre" in 1907 (diary, OJ 1/6, p. 45):
Ideas for a "new theory of form." First draft of a table. (July 11) Draft of forms shown to Floriz [Moriz Violin] and then elaborated. (July 22)

Soon after these recorded remarks, in a letter to Karl Grunsky Schenker even placed his Formenlehre within the scope of his Neue Musikalische Theorien und Fantasien :

Of course the official presentation of a theory of form in volume III (after the completion of Counterpoint), will first be able also to offer the far more proper opportunity. (OJ 5/15, [1], February 21, 1908)

(At around this time, Schenker had generally allocated volume III to his Niedergang der Kompositionskunst .)

There are occasional other references, as for example in 1913 (OJ 1/12, p. 373):

Draft of "Theory of Form" reviewed, and the numerous addenda of the past year entered. (July 8)

Surviving Materials

Manuscript materials relating to form survive as OC 83, comprising 534 sheets of paper of various sizes from slips of paper to full pages of text and notation, mostly handwritten. These appear to relate to the 1907 draft with perhaps ten years of subsequent elaboration. Organized into eleven folders, they include an initial 36-page essay in Heinrich's hand, "Der Weg zum Gleichnis" (The Path to Likeness), and subsequent folders on fugue, sonata form, variation form, formal problems, vocal forms, and counterpoint, with an essay "Von der Natur der Kunstgesetze überhaupt" (On the Nature of Artistic Laws in General), written in Jeanette's hand on 44 narrow strips of paper, and numerous notes on individual compositions.

No publication of these materials has been attempted since Schenker's death in 1935.


  • Ian Bent

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