Karlheinz Stockhausen: Zeitmaße: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Karlheinz Stockhausen: Zeitmaße

1st Edition

By Jerome Kohl


164 pages

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Hardback: 9780754653349
pub: 2016-12-05
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Zeitmaße is one of a group of four acknowledged masterpieces composed between 1955 and 1957 that together established Karlheinz Stockhausen as the leading figure in the European avant-garde. Of the four works, it is the only one that has not been thoroughly analysed from the composer's sketches and, for this reason, remains the least-well understood. In this volume, Jerome Kohl provides a much-needed analysis of Zeitmaße, considering its standing in the group and in the wider context of Stockhausen's output. Using recently published correspondence and other documentation from the period, together with surviving sketch material, Kohl investigates the compositional procedures employed in Zeitmaße and their evolution. He discusses the wide range of influences discernible in the work, from that of both past generations of composers and contemporaries, to the impact of Stockhausen's studies in acoustics, phonetics and information theory on his music. The book closes with an examination of the reception of Zeitmaße and its associated concepts in the years following its composition, and shows how the key concepts utilized in the work are themselves a reflection of the properties seen in the very Zeitgeist that produced them.


It is a strength of this book that the extremely careful understanding of the compositional ideas (not least down to Kohl’s comprehensive analysis of the sketches) is not lost in the search for and representation of the specific reasons for this or that compositional decision. […] In conclusion, Kohl presents this exemplary discussion of Stockhausen’s compositional works, whose influence on later composers up to the present day shows how important such an investigation is to the understanding of composing in general and also to the works themselves.

Markus Bandur, info-netz-musik

Table of Contents

List of music examples

General Editor’s preface


1 ‘Ideas in the air’

2 Source

3 Prolegomena to analysis

4 The first version (1955)

5 The second version: ‘cadenzas’ (1956)

6 Performance –reception –influence




About the Author

Jerome Kohl, PhD, is an American scholar, translator, writer and teacher who is a recognized authority on the music of Stockhausen. In addition to his many publications, he has frequently been invited to speak at academic conferences and to general audiences in Australia, Germany, the US and the UK.

About the Series

Landmarks in Music Since 1950

Landmarks in Music Since 1950
Schoenberg's death in 1951 marked the end of an era which has been dominated by some of the most radical artistic re-thinking and innovation since the Renaissance. The second half of the century saw a new generation of composers, schooled at Darmstadt, Cologne, Paris, Cracow, Manchester and elsewhere, which began to make its mark on the development of European and world music. The revolutionary pulpit of Schoenberg had become the play-pen of Boulez and Stockhausen. This series of handbooks devoted to single seminal compositions or groups of works by important composers who have been active since 1950 fills a major gap in current music literature. Well-informed, focused commentaries that are more detailed than record notes, give readers an enhanced understanding and appreciation of some of the most significant musical achievements of the last half-century. Each handbook features: · A general introduction to the choice of work under discussion · Details of the commission and composition history · Contextual discussion of stylistic, generic and international influences and precedents · A description and analysis of the work · A survey of its reception · A bibliography and discography · CD recording

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MUSIC / General