nLab Moritz Hauptmann

Moritz Hauptmann (1792-1868) was a German composer and music theorist. In the succession of Johann Sebastian Bach he was Thomaskantor in Leipzig.

In his writings he tried to develop tonal music from first principles based on the progresive mediation of units and their opposites within themselves. Traditionally (Hugo Riemann, Karl Rosenkranz, Peter Rummenhöller) this process of self-mediation of musical units has been identified with the Aufhebung from Hegelian dialectics whence Hauptmann’s approach has broadly been characterized as “Hegelian” but this view was challenged by Wilhelm Seidel and Lothar Schmidt who stress the Goethean background of Hauptmann’s aesthetics instead.


  • Die Natur der Harmonik und Metrik, Breitkopf & Härtel Leipzig 1853. (wikisource)

  • The nature of harmony and metre, Da Capo Press New York 1991[1893].


  • William Caplin, Moritz Hauptmann and the Theory of Suspensions, Journal of Music Theory 28 No. 2 (1984) pp. 251-269.

  • Maryam A. Moshaver, Structure as Process: Rereading Hauptmann’s Use of Dialectical Form, Music Theory Spectrum 31 No. 2 (2009) pp. 262-283.

  • Wilhelm Seidel, Moritz Hauptmanns organische Lehre: Tradition, Inhalt und Geltung ihrer Prämisse, International Review of the Aesthetics and Sociology of Music 2 No. 2 (1971), pp. 243-266.

category: people

Created on July 31, 2023 at 16:11:32. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.