Waart, Edo de. 56 Wachmann, Eduard 56

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Wellek, Albert

(b Vienna, 16 Oct 1904; d Mainz, 27 Aug 1972). German psychologist and musicologist of Austrian descent. He attended a Czech Gymnasium in Prague (to 1922) and then studied composition and conducting at the Prague Conservatory, graduating with distinction in 1926. He also studied music history, literature and philosophy in Prague and later in Vienna, where he was a pupil of Adler, Lach, Ficker and Wellesz, and where he took the doctorate in 1928 under Lach with a dissertation on dual sensation and programme music. After his first meeting with the eminent psychologist Karl Bühler (1929) he began to study psychology in Vienna. In 1932 he obtained a research fellowship and moved to the Leipzig University institute of psychology (directed by Felix Krueger), where he became an assistant lecturer and lecturer (1938), having completed his Habilitation with a study of musical ability among Germans. Subsequently he was acting professor of psychology at Halle University (1942) and was offered the chair of psychology and educational science in Breslau (1943); he set up the institute of psychology at Mainz University (1946) and directed it until his death.

Wellek, who was profoundly influenced by Felix Krueger, was regarded as a representative of the Leipzig school of Ganzheits- und Gestalt- psychologie and the leading music psychologist of his time. He became well known particularly for his work on types and development of character, and developed a model which was able to accommodate widely varied topics. He made his reputation as a music psychologist with his theory of hearing which, starting from the two-component theory of Révész, distinguishes between polar hearing responsive to tone quality and linear hearing responsive to brightness; he extended this theory to apply to musical ability in general. He also examined the psychology of perception and various aesthetic and sociological questions, and wrote numerous papers on the subject of synaesthesia. His theory of ‘the multiplicity of consonance’ connects mathematical, physical and psychological aspects of the topic and presents a synthesis of divergent attitudes. In addition to his many publications on music psychology, he contributed numerous articles to the first edition of Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart.


‘Quarter-Tones and Progress’, MQ, xii (1926), 231–7

Doppelempfinden und Programmusik (diss., U. of Vienna, 1928)

‘Zur Geschichte und Kritik der Synästhesie-Forschung’, Archiv für die gesamte Psychologie, no.79 (1931), 325–84

‘Ernst Kurths “Musikpsychologie”’, AcM, v (1933), 72–80

‘Die Aufspaltung der “Tonhöhe” in der Hornbostelschen Gehörpsychologie und die Konsonanztheorien von Hornbostel und Krueger’, ZMw, xvi (1934), 481–96, 537–53

‘Musik’, Ganzheit und Struktur: Festschrift zum 60. Geburtstage Felix Kreuger, ed. O. Klemm, H. Volkelt and K. von Dürckheim-Montmartin (Munich, 1934), 165–94

‘Der Raum in der Musik’, Archiv für die gesamte Psychologie, xci (1934), 395–443

‘Farbenharmonie und Farbenklavier: ihre Entstehungsgeschichte im 18. Jahrhundert’, Archiv für die gesamte Psychologie, no.94 (1935), 347–75

‘Die Mehrseitigkeit der “Tonhöhe” als Schlüssel zur Systmatik der musikalischen Erscheinungen’, Zeitschrift für Psychologie, no.134 (1935), 302–48

Das absolute Gehör und seine Typen (Leipzig, 1938, 2/1970)

Typologie der Musikbegabung im deutschen Volke: Grundlegung einer psychologischen Theorie der Musik und Musikgeschichte (Habilitationsschrift, U. of Munich, 1938; Munich, 1939, 2/1970)

‘Gefühl und Kunst’, Neue psychologische Studien, xiv (1939), 1–24

Das Problem des seelischen Seins: die Strukturtheorie Felix Kruegers, Deutung und Kritik (Leipzig, 1941, 2/1953)

‘Tondistanz und Merkelsches Gesetz: Bemerkungen über einen Beitrag zur “Psychophysik” des Intervalls’, Zeitschrift für Psychologie, no.140 (1943–4), 236–42

Ganzheitspsychologie und Strukturtheorie (Berne, 1955, 2/1969)

‘Die ganzheitspsychologischen Aspekte der Musikästhetik’, Musikwissenschaftlicher Kongress: Vienna 1956, 678–88

‘Problematik der modernen Musik’, Konkrete Vernunft: Festschrift Erich Rothacker, ed. G. Funka (Bonn, 1958), 335–44

‘Der gegenwärtige Stand der Musikpsychologie und ihre Bedeutung für die historische Musikforschung’, IMSCR VIII: New York 1961, 121–32

‘Grösse in der Musik’, AMw, xix–xx (1963), 265–80

Musikpsychologie und Musikästhetik: Grundriss der systematischen Musikwissenschaft (Frankfurt, 1963, 3/1982; Sp. trans., 1971)

‘Expériences comparées sur la perception de la musique tonale et de la musique dodécaphonique’, Sciences de l'art, iii (1966), 156–62

‘Gegenwartsprobleme systematischer Musikwissenschaft’, AcM, xli (1969), 213–35

Melancholie in der Musik (Hamburg, 1969)


Archiv für die gesamte Psychologie, no.116 (1964), 214–423 [Festschrift for Wellek’s 60th birthday; list of writings, p.415]

L.J. Pongratz, W. Traxel and E.G. Wehner, eds.: Psychologie in Selbstdarstellungen (Berne, 1972), 357–88 [incl. list of writings]

G. Albersheim: ‘Albert Wellek (1904–1972)’, Mf, xxvi (1973), 1–2



See Bland & Weller.

Weller, Walter

(b Vienna, 30 Nov 1939). Austrian conductor and violinist. After early violin studies with Ernst Moravec and Franz Samohyl at the Vienna Music Academy, Weller began to conduct as assistant to Böhm and Horst Stein, and was then coached by Szell and Krips. He joined the Vienna PO in 1956 and from 1961 to 1969 was the orchestra's leader. He also played in the Vienna Konzerthaus and Weller quartets (1958–71), toured widely and taught at the Vienna Music Academy from 1964 to 1966. Weller made his conducting début with the Vienna PO in 1966, and first appeared in 1969 with the Vienna Volksoper. In 1971 he was appointed Generalmusikdirektor in Duisburg, and from 1975 to 1978 was music director of the Tonkünstlerorchester of Vienna. He served as principal conductor of the Royal Liverpool PO from 1977 to 1980, the Royal Philharmonic from 1980 to 1986 and the Royal Scottish National Orchestra from 1991 to 1996, and was appointed conductor of the Basle SO in 1994. Weller has recorded the complete symphonies of Beethoven (including the first recording of the realized sketches of Symphony no.10), Mendelssohn, Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff, and works by Brahms, Dvořák, Smetana and other composers.


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