Erich Stockmann

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Erich Stockmann (born March 10, 1926 in Stendal ; † November 16, 2003 in Berlin ) was a German ethnomusicologist .


Stockmann studied musicology , German literature and history in Greifswald and Berlin from 1946–52 . At the Humboldt University in Berlin he received his doctorate in systematic musicology in 1953. phil. with the dissertation “The musical sense of electro-acoustic musical instruments” . In the same year Stockmann became an assistant at the Institute for German Folklore at the German Academy of Sciences in Berlin . From 1957 he held lectures at the Musicological Institute of the Humboldt University.

The focus of these courses was on topics related to ethnomusicology and musical instrument studies. Since the 1960s, he has been increasingly committed to international scientific cooperation within the framework of UNESCO . In 1962 he founded the Study Group on Folk Musical Instruments as part of the International Folk Music Council , which he headed for decades. The main focus here was the global exchange of information and research results, the unhindered use of sources and the organization of regular specialist conferences. He enjoyed a high reputation, which was based equally on his professional competence and his diplomatic skills. Despite numerous difficulties and restrictions on the part of the GDR authorities, he knew how to foster successful cooperation between researchers from East and West. In 1964, at the suggestion of his friend, the world-renowned Hungarian composer and folk song researcher Zoltán Kodály , Stockmann was elected a full member of the Executive Board of the International Folk Music Council . In 1982 he succeeded him as president.

Stockmann, appointed professor in 1983 on the basis of his habilitation thesis on the theory and method of the investigation of folk musical instruments , had many other honorary posts. From 1982 to 1990 he was Vice President of the GDR Music Council , then Vice President of the new German Music Council and finally an honorary member of the International Music Council (IMC).

Stockmann was married. His wife Doris (born November 3, 1929 in Dresden , † May 5, 2006 in Berlin) also had a doctorate in musicology specializing in ethnomusicology. Both carried out many projects and research work together.


Stockmann is regarded in the professional world as an outstanding expert in the field of ethnomusicology. He concentrated his activities equally on research, the organization of the worldwide exchange of experiences, the training of young scientists and media work. He succeeded in replacing a certain “Europe-centrism” in music ethnology with the equal status of all world cultures. Together with Oskár Elschek (* 1931) he developed the first attempt in 1969 to classify folk musical instruments from bottom to top.

His numerous radio broadcasts have contributed significantly to the dissemination of musicological knowledge. It is also thanks to him that 20,000 wax rollers could be saved as irreplaceable evidence of national and international musical culture and returned to the phonogram archive of the Ethnological Museum Berlin-Dahlem. Stockmann was a person who was universally educated and just as universally acting, and who contributed a lot to the understanding of peoples, religions and cultures.

Works (selection)

As an author

  • The musical sense of the electro-acoustic musical instruments . Dissertation, University of Berlin 1953
  • The boy's wonder horn in the ways of his time . Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1958.
  • For the collection and investigation of Albanian folk music . In: Acta Musicologica , Vol. 32, 1960, pp. 102-109, ISSN  0001-6241
  • With Ernst Emsheimer: The European folk musical instruments . German publishing house for music, Leipzig 1964
  • With Doris Stockmann, Wilfried Fiedler: Albanian Folk Music I. Chants of the Çamen. Akademie-Verlag, Berlin 1965
  • International and interdisciplinary cooperation in folk instrument research . 1972
  • Albania. In: Stanley Sadie (Ed.): The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians . Vol. 1. Macmillan Publishers, London 1980, pp. 197-202

as editor

  • Manual of European Folk Musical Instruments . 1967ff.
  • Studia instrumentorum popularis . 1969ff.
  • Music cultures in Africa. New Music Publishing House, Berlin 1987

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