Diether de la Motte

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Diether de la Motte (born March 30, 1928 in Bonn ; † May 15, 2010 in Berlin ) was a German musician , composer , music theorist and university professor .


De la Motte studied from 1947 to 1950 at the Northwest German Music Academy Detmold composition with Wilhelm Maler , choir direction with Kurt Thomas and piano . From 1950 to 1959 he worked as a lecturer for composition, form theory and piano at the Düsseldorf State Church Music School. From 1955, de la Motte wrote music reviews for the Rheinische Post . From 1959 to 1962 he worked as a lecturer at Schott Musikverlag in Mainz. He took part in courses in Schloss Kranichstein near Darmstadt (International Darmstadt Summer Courses for New Music). a. with the composer Ernst Krenek .

From 1962 Diether de la Motte taught composition and music theory at the Hamburg University of Music and Theater . In 1964 he was appointed professor there and in 1972 also took over the office of Vice President of the Free Academy of the Arts. In 1982 he went to the Hanover University of Music and Theater as a professor . In 1988 he accepted an appointment as a professor of music theory at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna , where he taught until 1996. Since December 2006 he lived in Berlin .

His students included Manfred Trojahn , Clemens Kühn , Franz Zaunschirm , Detlev Glanert and Nikolaus Schapfl .

Diether de la Motte was married to Helga de la Motte-Haber (* 1938).


The compositional work of Diether de la Motte encompasses almost all genres and ranges from traditional forms such as stage works to orchestral, vocal and chamber music to experimental events, performances and pieces with cross-border ideas.

In addition to his compositional work, Diether de la Motte is best known as a music theorist. His writings are standard literature for music and musicology students . His publications on musical analysis, counterpoint and harmony are fundamental .


  • Hans Werner Henze . The Prince of Homburg . An experiment about the composition and the composer. Schott's sons, Mainz 1960
  • Harmony. Bärenreiter-Verlag Karl Vötterle, Kassel / Basel / Tours / London, and Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 1976; Other editions: Deutscher Verlag für Musik, Wiesbaden 1977, Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-423-30166-X .
  • Musical analysis. Text part u. Note part. 2 volumes. Bärenreiter, Kassel 1978, ISBN 978-3-7618-0141-3 .
  • Counterpoint. A reading and work book. Bärenreiter, Munich 1981 a. dtv, Munich 2002, ISBN 3-423-30146-5 .
  • Music moves in space. 16 concepts for lay professionals in music, language, speech music and movement. Moeck, Celle 1987, ISBN 978-3-87549-027-5 .
  • Melody. A reading and work book. dtv, Munich 1993, ISBN 3-423-04611-2 .
  • Music forms. Imagination, imagination, originality. Wißner, Augsburg 1999, ISBN 3-89639-160-7 .
  • Ways to Compose. Encouragement and assistance. Bärenreiter, Kassel 2001, ISBN 3-7618-1290-6 .
  • Poems are music. Musical analysis of poems from 800 years. Bärenreiter, Kassel 2002, ISBN 3-7618-1572-7 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Diether-de-la-Motte archive in the Academy of Arts.