Robert Eitner

We are pleased to present the following article written by our intern, Martin Bierwisch:

Who hasn't heard of Robert Eitner (1832-1905)? If you are a musicologist, it's hard to avoid him and his Biographisch-Bibliographisches Quellenlexikon (Bio-Bibliographical Source Lexicon). This work also happens to be available online through the University of Zürich.

But why does his name appear under "Origins" in the RISM Wikipedia article?

The forward to the Source Lexicon might be cited here: 

"Music bibliography is the foundation of all historical knowledge. Not only because it brings the works of an author out from the darkness of times past into the knowledge of the present, but it also informs us of the author's life story through the wording of the title and the dedications. […] I am well aware that my work is just the beginning of setting out on a new path, but the benefits are considerable enough that my successors can probably in the end exhaust the materials to a certain degree, if they can gather them in the same way. […] However, I didn't find documents or works for every author."  

With the Source Lexicon, Eitner went beyond the scope of individual library catalogs. While of course we cannot speak of completeness and the work is not without its errors, it strove to be as comprehensive as possible and its goal was set. This goal was to be pursued by the publication of a new international inventory of sources--RISM.   

And for now something completely different, did you know that Robert Eitner even composed a little? The RISM online catalog has 26 entries by him, including a few autograph manuscripts of lieder that can be found in Leipzig and Berlin. Even more often, you will come across his name in the online catalog as a "copyist." Robert Eitner is therefore the bibliographer who has been recorded bibliographically.

Image credit: Wikipedia

Catégorie : RISM A-Z



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