HmT - Handwörterbuch der musikalischen Terminologie


The »Handwörterbuch der musikalischen Terminologie (HmT)« is a completed project realised by the    Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur Mainz. This project contains detailed monographs that address the origin and meaning of musical terms by examining their conceptual and semantic history, and which are organized lexically. The HmT is the first project that attempts to document and to reflect upon the past and present coining of musical terms within an encyclopaedic framework. It is designed as a periodical of musical terms and at the same time is to serve as a historical reference book. It strives to contribute to the understanding of musical issues from the perspective of the coining of musical terms. In addition, the HmT is intended to counteract unreflected and dogmatic usage of musical terms (see    preface).

The underlying pedagogical agenda of the HmT can be summarised as follows: »For all reflections on music, whether thinking, talking or writing about it or whether studying or teaching music, the most important means is musical terminology. The HmT aims to provide this means, as well as to research it historically and to make it scientifically precise.« (Eggebrecht)

For all users who until now could not afford a printed version of the HmT and therefore relied upon library copies, the website of the Staatliches Institut für Musikforschung provides extensive abstracts of all HmT monographs online. These abstracts are designed as detailed table of contents of the articles. This makes it possible to see which monographs are included in the HmT and how they are structured before turning to the printed version. This cursory overview cannot replace the reading of the complete monographs, but it can draw attention to the monographs and the study of them.

There are three complete monographs accessible online in order to show how the information of the abstracts is exemplified by detailed arguments and extensive source material: Consonantia - dissonantia / Konsonanz - Dissonanz (Michael Beiche), Melodia / Melodie (Markus Bandur) and Sonatenform, Sonatenhauptsatzform (Hans-Joachim Hinrichsen).

Numerous articles deal with word clusters or related terms. For that reason the table of contents does not provide a sufficient overview of all musical terms discussed in the HmT. Therefore, it is advisable to consult the periodically updated keyword index, where all of the terms covered are listed.

Succeeding Hans Heinrich Eggebrecht, the HmT is edited by Albrecht Riethmüller. Since 1972 it has been published by Franz Steiner Verlag (Wiesbaden; since 1984 Stuttgart) as a non-alphabetical loose-leaf collection. There are one or two shipments per year, with about 100 pages each.

Markus Bandur