Music Archive

In line withKeeping in the tradition of the Akademie der Künste, the music archives mainly houses bequests and working archives from the area of contemporary music, from the beginning of the 20th century contemporary music to the present day. The focus is on archives of members of the Academy (including Joseph Ahrens, Boris Blacher, Max Butting, Paul Heinz Dittrich, Fidelio F. Finke, Friedrich Goldmann, Erhard Grosskopf, Ernst Pepping, Heinz Tiessen, Hans Zender, Bernd Alois Zimmermann), heads of the master classes (Hanns Eisler, Paul Dessau, and Rudolf Wagner-Régeny) as well as their master students. There is a particular focus on the composition classes of Arnold Schönberg and Franz Schreker, from which composers such as Walter Gronostay, Rudolph Goehr, Walter Goehr, and Natalie Prawossudowitsch as well as Berthold Goldschmidt, Hans Heller, Alfred Keller, and Ignace Strasfogel all emerged. The heyday times of the operetta and the chansons of the twenties are also prominently represented in the musical archives (Eduard Künneke, Ralph Benatzky, Walter W. Goetze, and Werner R. Heymann).  

A key collecting activity from more recent times is found in the Archives of Electronic and Electroacoustic Music (Werner Meyer-Eppler, Hans-Peter Haller/Freiburger Experimental Studio, Johannes Fritsch/Feedback Studio Cologne, Herbert Brün). The bequests of practicing musicians document the development of interpretation performance in the 20th century, in particular the interpretation performance of contemporary music. In this regard, theThese include collections of from the conductors Ferenc Fricsay, Ferdinand Leitner, Hermann Scherchen and Peter Ronnefeld, the pianists Wilhelm Kempff, Artur Schnabel, Eduard Erdmann, Karl Ulrich Schnabel, and Tiny Wirtz as well as the guitarist Siegfried Behrend deserve to be mentioned. The collections of several prominent theoreticianstheorists, publicists, and organisers associated with New Music are also housed in the archives, such as those of H. H. Stuckenschmidt, Wolfgang Stresemann, Harald Kaufmann, Heinz-Klaus Metzger, Claus-Henning Bachmann, Otto Tomek as well as the jazz publicist Ernest Borneman, are also closely connected with contemporary music.

The central archivemain sections of the archives of personal collections consist of autograph manuscripts from the entire spectrum of artistic work (designs, sketches, first versions, fair copies), which enable conclusions to be drawn as toallow users to trace the genesis of the works and the working methods of the authors. Extensive correspondence not only provides biographical information, but also reflects the particular circumstances in which the works were created, as well as the period overall, in which the works were created. The collections are completed by numerous sound recordings, the originals of which (shellac gramophone records, long-playing records, audio tapes) are also archived in digital formats and made available to users.   

The valuable individual manuscripts, which are kept in a general music collection, include autograph manuscripts by Paul Hindemith, Helmut Lachenmann, György Ligeti,  Arnold Schönberg, and Josef Tal as well as many other papers and documents from the history of the Academy’s music section and Berlin’s musical life. The collections are rounded off by several thematic and institutional collections under the aspect ofcovering documentation. Of these, the archive of workers’ songs and the archive of the East German Association of Composers and Musicologists claim the greatest amount of interestare perhaps of greatest interest.  

The collections of the music archives presents its collectionsare presented both in events and in publications. The latter include – along with the exhibition catalogues on Hermann Scherchen, Bernd Alois Zimmermann, Boris Blacher, Paul Dessau, and Artur Schnabel – the Archive on the Music of the 20th and 21st Centuries series of publications, which has appeared since 1997 and provides information on the key collections in the form of source texts, illustrations, and work-related essays about particular works. In each case, Aan inventory of all music autographs is included at the end of each volume affords to provide an overview of the personal archive in each case.

(Stand 15.03.2012)