Herbert Eimert

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Herbert Eimert (born April 8, 1897 in Kreuznach , † December 15, 1972 in Düsseldorf ) was a German composer , music theorist and music journalist .


Herbert Eimert was born in Bad Kreuznach as the son of a high school teacher and a violin teacher. He was drafted as a volunteer for military service in 1914 from the upper prima of the humanistic grammar school. In 1919 he was released from captivity and passed his Abitur in February.

From 1919 to 1924 he studied music theory and composition at the Cologne Conservatory with Hermann Abendroth , Franz Bölsche and August von Othegraven . The publication of the atonal music theory led to a dispute with Bölsche, who withdrew an Eimert string quartet of this direction from the final examination and expelled Eimert from his composition class. Eimert then left the conservatory and began studying musicology at the University of Cologne in 1924, which he completed with a doctorate in 1931. From 1927 Eimert worked for Westdeutsche Funkstunde AG, which later became WDR, and for music magazines. In 1933 he left his position at the radio and "overwintered" as an editor at the Kölnische Zeitung. So unencumbered he became the first employee of the NWDR in 1945 . This position made it possible to continue his quest for the renewal of music. In 1951 he founded the world's first studio for electronic music there , and Karlheinz Stockhausen took over its management from 1963 . From 1951 to 1957 he was also a lecturer at the International Summer Courses for New Music in Darmstadt . In 1965 he was appointed professor at the Cologne University of Music , where he taught composition and was (until 1971) director of the local studio for electronic music . On the subject of electronic music, he also discussed a record that was used as a teaching aid in West German school lessons.

Eimert's musical direction exemplarily reflects the expansion of the ideas of twelve-tone music into those of serialism that began after the Second World War .



  • Atonal music theory , Leipzig: Breitkopf & Härtel 1924
  • Textbook of twelve-tone technology , Wiesbaden: Breitkopf & Härtel 1950. ISBN 3-7651-0015-3
  • Basics of the musical serial technique , Vienna: Universal Edition 1964
  • Essays, etc. a. in Melos, below
    • The Sinus-Ton , in: Melos 6 (1954), pp. 168–172 ( full text )
  • die reihe - information about serial music , with Karlheinz Stockhausen , 8 issues, 1955–1962
  • Introduction to Electronic Music , double LP, Wergo 1963
  • Lexicon of Electronic Music , with Hans Ulrich Humpert , 1972


  • String Quartet, 1925 (first twelve-tone publication)
  • The white swan for saxophone, flute etc. Self-made sound instruments, 1926
  • 2nd string quartet, 1939
  • Four pieces (together with Robert Beyer ), 1953
  • Structure 8, Electronic Music, 1953
  • Glockenspiel, electronic music, 1953
  • Etude on clay mixtures, 1954
  • Five pieces, 1956
  • In honor of Igor Stravinsky, 1957
  • Selection I, 1960
  • Six Studies, Electronic Music, 1962
  • Epitaph for Aikichi Kuboyama for speakers and speech sounds, 1962


  • Helmut Kirchmeyer: Small monograph on Herbert Eimert . Stuttgart: Hirzel 1998. ISBN 3-7776-0925-0

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