Schenker, race and culture: the next chapter

Schenker, race and culture: the next chapter


norman lebrecht

August 29, 2022

Georg Olms Verlag has just published Barry Wiener’s article ‘Race, Nation and the Jewish Identity’ in New Horizons in Schenkerian Research, edited by Allen Cadwallader, Karen M. Bottge, & Oliver Schwab-Felisch. This article places Schenker’s thought in the context of being a Jewish academic in Austria between the wars.

In particular, it debunks the pernicious notion that Schenker was a Nazi sympathizer or a biological racist, as posited by certain
misguided academics in the US.


  • william osborne says:

    What quotations of Ewell support the assertion that he said that “Schenker was a Nazi sympathizer or a biological racist”? What is the evidence that Ewell said those things? What was the context, and how does that shape Ewell’s views? Why post the above commentary without some salient quotes if they are so egregious?

    Most also have no access to Barry Wiener’s article article, and no salient passages are quoted here.

    • John Porter says:

      Ewell never said that Schenker was a Nazi sympathizer. That is straight up baloney. Yes, Schenker was a sort of ordinary nationalist oriented German. There is no evidence that Schenker, a Jew, supported Nazis, and I think most people know how the Nazis felt about the Jews.

      • Anon says:

        In a letter of May 1933, Schenker wrote: “Hitler’s historical service, of having got rid of Marxism, is something that posterity (including the French, English, and all those who have profited from transgressing against Germany) will celebrate with no less gratitude than the great deeds of the greatest Germans!”

        Here is the source:

        • guest says:

          Schenker was virulently anti-Marxist; to approve of Hitler because he attacked Marxism is not the same as being a Nazi-sympathiser. The quote goes on to wish somebody would rid the world of musical marxists – with the comment that „Kunst“ und Massen haben nie zusammengehört, werden nie zusammengehören,then says “Die Waffen habe ich bereitsgestellt (presumably his system of tonal analysis, which is the subject of the letter to his pupil von Cube) aber die Musik, die wahre deutsche der Großen, findet kein Verständnis bei den Massen, die die Waffen tragen sollten.” This is as elitist a right-wing attitude as anyone nowadays who decries hiphop and rap could desire.

    • Gerry Feinsteen says:

      No need for a hissy fit Osborne, holiest of holies.
      Music theorists aren’t recognized for their imaginative spirit. Indeed, a music theorist with imagination might be a composer or barista. Ewell seems to have picked up some tips from X. Kendi on how to cherry-pick and connect dots that are as disparate as he is desperate.
      But I applaud him. He is making a name for himself, finally. Eventually this will be a footnote in Western music history and decades from now students will be reading aghast at how music theory disintegrated much like freedoms in Russia and Germany in the first half of the 20th C. The world spins, and sadly this is what we get.

      • TNVol says:

        I can think of no better examples of an unneeded organization in the world – than a “Society For Music Theorists” – under the auspices of which Ewell published his ohhh so edgy, stunning and brave accusations against a dead guy who isn’t around to defend himself.

        But hey! Ewell also specializes in Russian music, hip hop AND rap. He’s one of the cool kids
        in a university setting today. AND he’s an Ivy League graduate and teacher at CUNY.

        But I just smell a typical deconstructionist/Dadaist/ Marxist whom I’d never entrust with my own kids in a learning environment.

        Remember back in the day when music professors actually created beauty? Ewell will never create anything as lasting as Shenker. I suspect THAT is the root of his own racism.

    • Sixtus Beckmesser says:

      Ewell, Philip. Music Theory and the White Racial Frame.

    • guest says:

      Ewell’s original article ‘Music Theory and the White Racial Frame’ is available online.
      He shows convincingly from Schenker’s writings that he was a biological racist (as of course were many people of that era) (section 4.2.1 of his article). He does not say that he was a Nazi sympathizer, although he points out that Schenker held views in common with Nazism – again, something not unusual for the time. On the whole, Ewell’s article is far more acaemically sound, balanced and nuanced than the hysterical reaction it has aroused.

      • William Osborne says:

        Yes, we’ve conveniently forgotten how pervasive these racist views were, and naturally this affected musicologists. Pamela Potter’s book explores this in her book, “Most German of the Arts: Musicology and Society from the Weimar Republic to the End of Hitler`s Reich.”

        Here’s the blurb from Amazon:

        “This important book investigates the role played by German musicology in buttressing Nazi institutions and ideology. Pamela Potter examines the social, economic, and intellectual factors that caused some German musical scholars to support with such fervor the ideological aims of the Nazis. She argues convincingly that many of the ideas that served the regime not only predated Hitler’s rise to power but survived the Nazi period to influence the conception of music history including that of American musical scholarship down to the present time.

        “Potter reveals that prominent German musicologists went beyond other scholars in serving the state by publicizing the German musical legacy as a source of national pride; exploring politically relevant research topics, including pseudo-scientific race theories; and participating in the Germanization of occupied and annexed territories during World War II. Nazi leaders recognized musicology’s potential service to Nazi causes, says Potter, and musicological ventures enjoyed generous support from the government, party, and SS. Scrutinizing private papers, archives, and rare publications, Potter breaks the silence imposed by the postwar German musicological establishment and demonstrates the extent to which the entire profession was politicized during the Nazi era.”

        • Scott says:

          Wiener shows that there were a wide-range of views on race in early 20th-century Germany and Austria, ranging from the conservative to the liberal. He demonstrates convincingly that Schenker did not share the Nazi view of race. You should read the Wiener article before you criticize it.

      • Gerry Feinsteen says:

        Musicians study Schenker’s approach to analysis, not his early 20th C. attitude in life. A typical rapper today offers more offense through music than Schenker’s little graphs ever could.
        Wagner was a racist. Russians are often racist, yet Ewell spent a considerable amount of time there. I imagine he’d have had a beer with old Schenker and the two would have enjoyed each other’s company: Schenker for would be flattered to know analytic formula stood the test of time and Ewell for offering humorous commentary about the old theorist’s supposed personal attitudes and beliefs, reflective of typical Viennese society at that time.

        • William Osborne says:

          “Musicians study Schenker’s approach to analysis, not his early 20th C. attitude in life.” Ewell’s thesis is that they are interconnected.

          • Scott says:

            Yes, but Ewell is wrong about Ewell’s attitude in life. Read the Wiener article; don’t just guess what it says.

        • ALLAN FULLER says:

          Thank you for your sanity, logic and relevance.

      • TNVol says:

        Perhaps Shenker was a product of his time and place just as it is very apparent Ewell is a product of the Marxist thinking prevelent in today’s institutions of lower living.

    • Scott says:

      Read Ewell’s article, Music Theory and the White Racial Frame.

    • Scott says:

      Ewell MTO article 4.4.5

  • kaf says:

    A non-sequitor if there ever was one, it’s not because one was a Jew and persecuted by the majority Christian Aryan culture that a Jew couldn’t be racist, which the revisionists are desperately trying to imply.

    The defense to African-American academics accusing you of espousing a racist theory isn’t “but he was a Jew”

  • anon says:

    Who is Barry Wiener?

    He has a PhD in music from the very department at the City University of New York where the much maligned Philip Ewell is a Professor and the Director of Graduate Studies, so it’s entirely possible that Wiener was taught by Ewell at some point as a grad student at CUNY.

    Wiener is currently not affiliated with any academic institution, so he’s a freelance writer.

    I have no idea what Wiener’s articles says.

    But I’m not sure why he’d have the credentials to debunk anything written by tenured professors in a field in which he only has a PhD but no academic appointment.

    Because he’s white and Jewish doesn’t confer on him any scholarly authority. Ewell remains the teacher.

    • SVM says:

      Tenured professors are not gods, you know. They can and do profess arguments that are contestable or even illogical (or become less tenable in light of new evidence or interpretations). One of the most important skills that one develops in order to attain a PhD degree is the capacity to interrogate and criticise academic arguments on the basis of reasoning and evidence, without being constrained by undue deference to ostensibly ‘senior’ academics, so I would say that someone who “only has a PhD” is very well placed to critique the arguments of a tenured professor. And besides, there are plenty of outstanding academic thinkers who do not attain high-ranking positions in notable institutions (much like other organisations, universities can be ‘political’ in their hiring practices, motivated by factors beyond pure academic merit, such as “research income” or “grant capture”).

  • Alviano says:

    Ewell has found a trick to get attention and to protect himself from criticism. He is not the only one who has done this. It works, and of course we are playing his game by giving him the attention.

  • William Osborne says:

    This discussion might serve to remind us that Jewish people were among the very best and most loyal of Germans. They embraced the values of German society like all other citizens. This makes the insanity of Hitler’s perverse ideals all the more absurd. Through his anti-Semitism, he attacked people who contributed greatly to German society, science, prosperity, and culture, even if they also reflected German values at the time that we in hindsight know were very wrong. Why Ewell’s discussion of this history has led to such an uncomely dispute is beyond me. It’s the dispute, and not Ewell’s articles, that are harming people, including Jewish people. Is there no one, or no group, in the musicological community that can resolve this harmful dispute? And what good comes of pouring gasoline on the flames?

    • Scott says:

      I requested that the Board of SMT do so several months ago. So far, they have done nothing.

      All they would have to do is compare Ewell’s quotes in his article to the original Schenker and Eybl. As I show below, Ewell left out three sentences from the Eybl, which completely changes Eybl’s meaning. Eybl was adament that Schenker was not a biological racist.

      Also, as Wiener has demonstrated, Ewell incompletely quoted Schenker. Schenker was actually talking about national peoples, not biological race.

      • William Osborne says:

        The conflict should be resolved by those who are impartial. You are not.

        • Scott says:

          That’s why I asked the Board of SMT to do it, but, so far, they have refused. If they did a review, they would discover that Ewell is an academic fraud because he distorted quotes.

  • Scott says:

    From Wiener:

    “By employing the language of race, Schenker adhered to the conventions of his day. Yet this did not reflect a belief in the strict doctrines of biological racism, as employed by racial theorists in Europe and America during the first third of the twentieth century. Schenker firmly rejected the concept of inherent biological differences among
    human population groups—a concept that would have been threatening to him as a
    Viennese Jew, continuously forced to negotiate the challenges posed by racial antisemitism both personally and professionally—and rarely used the rhetoric of racialscience. In Schenker Documents Online, a search for Schenker’s use of the term “race” yields fifty hits, three of which have an entirely different meaning: “race course” (SDO
    November [17?] 1911), “in a race” (SDO July 10, 1931), “ideas race ahead” (SDO August 30, 1914). Sixteen hits are for the “human race,” while on six occasions, Schenker
    refers to his own group, the Jews, once as an “alien race.” There are four references to
    the “Slavic race,” three to the “German race,” one to the “depraved [English] race,” and
    one to the “Anglo-Saxon race.”

    Schenker rarely used the terms “black” and “white” as modifiers for races. In SDO,
    a search for “black” yields one hundred forty hits, but many of these are descriptions
    by the editors. There are many instances in the editorial descriptions and Schenker’s
    writings of such terms as “black ink,” “black-edged [writing paper],” “black material,”
    and “black market.” A search for “black coffee” yields sixty-two hits, more than one
    third of the total. There are no references to the “black race,” and only one reference
    to the “white race” in thousands of pages of documents (SDO August 20, 1914). In
    the “literature” supplement to his edition of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata, op. 111 (1916),
    Schenker acknowledged the biological definition of race, only to turn it against the
    so-called “superior races,” castigating the “white Frenchman” and “white Englishman”
    (Schenker 2015, 21). Schenker’s specification that he derived his terminology from
    the German General Staff clearly indicates his intention to stigmatize “whites” in
    his damnation of both nations, not the people of color who served in the British and
    French armies.”

    “Leon Botstein has suggested that Schenker responded to antisemitism by
    “question[ing] the idea of race as a category of explanation” (Botstein 2002, 244).
    Schenker generally employed the term “race,” not as a biological category, but as a
    synonym for “nation.” In addition, he connected the concept of “nation” to language
    and culture, rather than ethnicity or religion.”

    “In “The Mission of German Genius,” Schenker defined his praise of the Germans
    as contingent on their appreciation for their language and culture, rather than on their
    supposed biological superiority.”

    “The fact that the German people can be
    defined by language and culture forms the open and nebulous prerequisite for Schenker’s German nationalism, which allows, for example, ‘Friedrich’ Chopin to be included in the ‘series of great German masters.’”6
    Schenker praised Chopin’s music for
    its Germanic qualities: “[E]ven though they [Chopin’s works] have not arisen directly
    from Germanness, they are certainly directly indebted to it” (Schenker 2004b, 20).”

    “On November 18, 1914, a few months after the outbreak of World War I, Schenker
    composed a diary entry in which he employed “race” and “nation” as synonyms, while
    defining national identity in purely linguistic terms.”

    • guest says:

      Searching for a word in the English translation of a German work proves nothing. In any case, racist views can be expressed without using the word ‘race’.

      In your last paragraph the reference is wrong: the diary entry for that date says nothing about race or nation. However, the entry for July 15, 1914, unequivocally shows that Schenker did not equate ‘Rasse’ and ‘Nation’.

  • Scott says:

    In other words, Schenker was a German nationalist, not a biological racist. He attacked the nations who defeated Germany in WWI–England, France, America, Japan.

    Schenker incompletely and deceptively quoted Schenker to make him look like a biological racist when he wasn’t one. Ewell is an academic fraud.

    For example,

    “Most importantly (and fatally for Ewell’s argument), Ewell has “misquoted” Austrian music scholar Martin Eybl’s, discussion of Schenker to disguise that Schenker’s world view was cultural. In a key section of his paper, Ewell asserted, “The author who has done the most to reframe Schenker’s racism is Martin Eybl. . . . Eybl acknowledges Schenker’s racism forthrightly.” In support of his argument, Ewell quoted Eybl,

    The term “Menschenhumus” is based on the idea that Germanism unequivocally constitutes the best natural conditions for the development of geniuses: in “Menschenhumus of the highest category” the “German genius” is manifest. . . . Anyone who considers the term “Menschenhumus” as a simple translation of the burdened conceptual pair of blood and soil is ignoring the pseudo-scientific bases of national-socialist racism and its predecessors.

    Ewell then declared, “But this is, in fact, one of the main goals of the white racial frame—to ignore inconvenient facts if those facts contravene or damage the impact of a given racialized structure of the white frame. Schenker invokes Menschenhumus as a scientific basis for German superiority in music. We must not now or ever cast aside such important information, especially about a figure who remains so central to our field.”
    Notice the ellipsis in the quote above. Here is what the ellipsis replaces: “Again, Schenker does not argue on the basis of race, but of German national [culture].” [“Wieder argumentiert Schenker nicht rassistisch, sondern Deutschnational.”] Ewell also left out the two sentences that follow: “At no point does Schenker attempt to explain the superiority of Germanness genetically. The fact that the German people can be defined by language and culture forms the open and nebulous prerequisite for Schenker’s German nationalism.”
    In other words, by omitting these three key sentences from the Eybl quote, Ewell totally changes Eybl’s meaning from culture to biological racism. Remember that Ewell said that Eybl was the one who has done the most to reframe Schenker’s racism. Professor Eybl has confirmed this misrepresentation of his position: “As I have clearly stated in my book, Schenker was not a racist in the sense of the National Socialists. I am grateful that you [Jackson] have corrected the point vis-à-vis Ewell, who distorts the meaning by omitting parts of the text when he is quoting me.” (letter from Eybl to Jackson, January 23, 2022).
    It is not ethical to do what Ewell did. The Society for Music Theory’s “SMT Policy on Ethics” states, “The Society for Music Theory upholds and promotes the following basic principles of ethical conduct in our profession. . . . honesty and integrity in scholarly investigation and in the evaluation and transmission of the results of scholarship. . .” SMT borrowed these guidelines from the American Musicological Society’s “Guidelines for Ethical Conduct.” The AMS guidelines elaborate further: “Relevant supporting evidence should be presented in a well-reasoned manner, free of misrepresentation and distortion; evidence that contravenes one’s operating hypothesis should not be suppressed.” The AMS Guidelines continue: “Members of the AMS should be equally scrupulous when translating the words and ideas of others from one language into another.”
    Omitting words and sentences from a quote to change the quote’s meaning is indisputably unethical misrepresentation: “While minor modifications are permissible, you must never present the quote in a manner that changes the author’s original meaning. Especially if done with the purpose of distorting the author’s intention and/or manufacturing support for an entirely different argument, intentionally changing the meaning of a quote is academically dishonest and risks severe penalty.” Likewise, “Do not use an elipsis to omit words if such omissions change the meaning or intent of the original quotation.” Finally, “If you omit words, phrases, sentences, or even paragraphs from a quotation because they seem irrelevant, be careful not to change ir misrepresent the meaning of the original source.””


    • Hugo Preuß says:

      Thanks for the thorough analysis of the technical aspects. In my own department (tenured professor of political science) this type of deliberate misquotation would be enough to fail your paper, let alone your BA/MA/PhD thesis.

    • William Osborne says:

      Your argument is nonsense. I’ve lived in Germany for 42 years. First, Menschenhumus is a fundamentally racist term. It was then, and it is now. Second, during Schenker’s life, and to some extent even in today’s Germany and Austria, concepts of culture and race are closely related. It was only about 20 years ago that Germany changed its blood laws concerning citizenship.

      A clear example of how race and culture are correlated is the Vienna Philharmonic/Staatsoper Orchestra’s exclusion of fully Asian people, even though from a quarter to a third of the students for the last half century at Vienna’s University of Music have been Asian. It was only a few months ago that the orchestra hired its first fully Asian member, a situation virtually unheard of in the orchestral world. Even today, race and culture are correlated in Austria, and all the more so during Schenker’s life.

  • Scott says:


    But, Ewell’s deceptively incomplete quotation is not all. Dr. Barry Wiener has also identified several other deceptive quotes in Ewell’s article, reproducing Ewell’s quotations in bold within the longer quotes, which provide the true context. (Barry Wiener, Philip Ewell’s White Racial Frame, 12 Journal of Schenkerian Studies 195, 199, 196, 197, 198, 200, 202.(2019)) For example, Ewell decontextualizes Schenker’s reference to “less able or primitive races” to change its meaning: in this quote, he is talking about those nations and peoples who opposed Germany in World War I, not Blacks. Similarly, in yet another decontextualized quote, where Schenker refers to “inferior races, ” he means “musically inferior races”–white northern European nations and central European nations.” Ibid. at 200.
    In other words, when Schenker is referring to races, he meant national groups, not biological race. This was common in Germany during World War I and especially after the War. Why? Because these “peoples” defeated Germany in World War I, and they had imposed crippling reparations on it and its allies through the Treaty of Versailles.
    Both Jackson and Wiener also pointed out that Ewell never mentioned that Schenker was a Jew–a fact that seems vital to a discussion of race and culture.

  • Barry Guerrero says:

    Am I the only one hanging around these parts who couldn’t possibly care any less about this topic, one way or the other? I’d rather move on and listen to some K.A. Hartmann symphonies . . . or Schrecker, or Schulhoff, or early Hindemith, or whatever.

  • Wilf says:

    The point being missed here is that in general terms the world couldn’t give a rat’s ass about a thimbleful of musicologists slapping each other. What exactly do they do anyway? Of the fraction of folks that even notice, it’s probably highly entertaining to watch the desperation of a rogue parasite feeding on another in the hope of ‘glory’.
    All they are doing is making themselves extinct even quicker.

  • Anon says:

    Who cares what Ewell thinks about anything?

  • mary says:

    This petty vicious academic food fight is the very picture of a tempest in a teapot.

    Whooooo cares?

    Schenkerian studies is an obscure little area of academia pursued by an incestuous tribe of cult like dévotés at second rate universities with third rate musicology departments (given that musicology is itself a second rate academic discipline).

    • SVM says:

      Although I am not an expert on Schenkerian studies myself, I happen to know several academics who are, and I can assure you that your insulting stereotype is inaccurate. Last month, I had dinner with a very capable and distinguished scholar who is an expert on Schenkerian analysis among other topics (and, for what it is worth, who has taught at some first-rate institutions), and we had a very interesting conversation that was categorically not “cult”-like in any shape or form.

      As for why should others care… well, this scholar was telling me that his publisher had recently reneged on a signed contract because Schenkerian studies were considered too politically toxic in light of what Mary calls a “tempest in a teapot”. This kind of situation has serious implications for academic freedom and the capacity of scholars to undertake research free from political interference. So, even if you are not interested in Schenkerian studies, you should be concerned.

      • Wilf says:

        Much as I loathe what Ewell is doing, it is ultimately inconsequential. The battle for academic freedom has long been underway and is going to be decided in far more conspicuous areas than musicology.

  • William Osborne says:

    Regarding the above comments about musicologists: They have an enormous influence on classical music by shaping our concepts of repertoire, interpretation, and through critical assessments of performances and recordings, among many other things.

    • Anon says:

      Speak for yourself Willy.
      Perhaps the millions of classical music lovers who are deeply influenced by Ewell have already forsaken all works by Beethoven. After all, the great musicologist has declared that Beethoven was merely “above average”.

    • Wilf says:

      Mr Osborne, it’s where Joe public puts his dollar and his backside that decides matters, not the two cents that drops out of a musicologist’s.

      • William Osborne says:

        Actually no. Ticket and recording sales are only a part of the funding of classical music. Most of the funding comes from donations in the USA, and from public funding in Europe. While giving due respect to the public’s interests, it is the cultural leaders of our institutions that determine programing. Most managers are loathe to embrace populist programming. In Germany, for example, managers often aim for 80% of attendance capacity since this allows for a balance between popularity and innovation.

        • Wilf says:

          I am well aware of how Classical Music is funded – and you have still got this wrong. The ‘determining’ effects you are talking about are temporary at best. Yes cultural institutions can steer audiences – we are seeing this today with identity politics and programming but the point remains – sooner or later, yes even in the funded arts, economics will determine outcome over any ideology. Why? Because ultimately the incentive to throw money at things where there is no discernible return runs dry. It may take many years but it will happen. Arts ‘policy makers’ are invested in the need for illusion to preserve their sense of importance. It’s also self explanatory that if the aim is 80% attendance, Joe Public is already in control of your programming ‘freedoms’.

  • guest says:

    Anybody who believes that Schenker did not, at least at certain times, hold strictly racist, as opposed to nationalist, beliefs, should reflect on his diary entry for July 26, 1914 (on troubles in the Balkans):
    In German, since the English online translation is not quite accurate:
    Kein Zweifel, daß dahinter die Schnapsbutike Rußland steht. Dort, in Rußland, wütet der slavische Halbmensch: Noch weiß er nicht, was er will, was er soll, unfertig zur Religion, zur Wissenschaft u. Kunst, unfertig zum sozialen Leben, zur Gesellschaft wälzt er, halb tierisch, Träume im Kopf u. beunruhigt 2 Kontinente. – Es wird nicht Friede auf Erden sein, bis nicht ein Philosoph erscheint, der die Prinzipe der Nationalität aufhebt, die angebliche Gleichheit aus den menschlichen Gehirnen ausschaltet u. bis nicht auf Grund der Superiorität die deutsche Rasse die slavische erdrückt. Gerade die letzten Beispiele vom Balkan zeigen, den Mutwillen in der Konzeption der Nationalitäten-Idee: 2 Nationen u. Stämme ringen gegeneinander, ohne daß ein Mensch mit Bestimmtheit sagen konnte, von welchem Vater u. welcher Mutter er abstammt. Und doch, je nach Laune zählen sich Millionen zu diesem Stamme oder jenem, bestochen gegebenen Falles auch zu einem anderen – kurz, der Nationalitäten-Charakter kann dort auch nach politischen Bedarf creiert werden.

    • Scott says:

      This quote is not about Blacks.

      • guest says:

        In the USA the discourse about race has been simplified down to skin-colour alone. Ewell is also guilty (more forgiveably) in concentrating on what Schenker says about Blacks. But it is clear that Schenker does actually believe in a racially-constructed hierarchy, with the German Race at the top. Other white Europeans (Anglo-Saxons, French, Italians, Slavs) are from different stocks (Stamme), and those ‘stocks’ are inferior to the German ‘stock’. It is undeniable that for him Blacks (to use the modern term) are very near the bottom of this hierarchy.

    • EC says:

      That was in his private diary, correct?

      You are aware, aren’t you, that people put all sorts of things in their diaries that they probably don’t intend anyone else to see? Very nice people often write horrible things about other people in their diaries, and so forth. An argument of this sort based on a few diary entries is not terribly conclusive.

  • William Osborne says:

    An English translation of one of the sentences: “There will not be peace on earth until a philosopher appears who abolishes the principles of nationality, eliminates alleged equality from human brains and until the German race crushes the Slavic race on the basis of superiority.”

    Who was the “philosopher” that appeared? Why did Nazi Germany kill 27 million people in the Soviet Union and one fifth of the population of Poland? One of the most troubling aspects of history, and one that is strongly suppressed, is that there was a notable cultural basis for the rise of National Socialism. This doesn’t just reflect on Germany, it reflects on all of us. Given the enormity of that history and those dark turns of culture, Ewell’s articles are rather mild. Future generations will have to sort out history we can’t even begin to consider.

    • Scott says:

      You have proved my point. Slavs are a people not a race. They are a language group. Schenker was talking about peoples, not biological race.

      • guest says:

        It would take too long, with too many quotations from Schenker’s writings, to show how wrong you are about Schenker’s thinking on race. In any case, it is pointless to have a discussion with someone who is determined not to see what is in front of his nose!

        • William Osborne says:

          Yes, during Schenker’s life, racist views of Slavs were very common and became a central component of Nazism which held that the Slavs were to be exterminated and their lands colonized by Germans.

  • rentayenta says:

    The Austrian-Jewish music theorist Heinrich Schenker (1868-1935) has become an unlikely focal point of the American culture wars in the last two years. Jeffrey Arlo Brown looks at the latest from a lawsuit resulting from a music-theory debate—a debate that has erupted into something much larger, though not necessarily more meaningful.