Untersuchungen über den Ursprung der Harmonie und ihre allmählige Ausbildung. Johann Friedrich Hugo DALBERG, Freiherr von.
Untersuchungen über den Ursprung der Harmonie und ihre allmählige Ausbildung.

The Colorful History of Harmony; “One of the First Musical Romantics”–Grove

Untersuchungen über den Ursprung der Harmonie und ihre allmählige Ausbildung.

Folding handcolored engraved frontispiece, two engraved plates (one folding & heightened in red), one folding plate of printed music, & music printing in the text. xii, 52 pp., one leaf of errata. 8vo, cont. marbled semi-stiff boards (spine a little defective), uncut. Erfurt: Beyer & Maring, 1800.

First edition of this attractive and fascinating book which relates harmony to colors; it is very much a product of early German Romanticism. Dalberg (1760-1812), was an author, composer, and aesthetician. He was “born into a noble family…though physically deformed, he was a virtuoso pianist…He studied composition with Ignaz Holzbauer and travelled extensively in Italy and England. His works about music and his compositions were published regularly in his lifetime and were regarded seriously by professionals…

“Dalberg’s writings cover such diverse subjects as meteorology, penal law and translations of works on oriental subjects. This wide range of interest that hints at the dilettante is also reflected in his writings on music. Their topics included the music of India, ancient Greek music, newly invented instruments and the history of harmony.”–New Grove, Vol. 5, pp. 151-52.

Dalberg was very interested in the nature of musical inspiration and in the present work he provides a history of harmony and relates various harmonic structures to certain colors. The wonderful handcolored frontispiece depicts a color scale ranging from deep blue to pale yellow. Dalberg associates diatonic and chromatic scales with darker colors and enharmonic scales with orange and yellow.

Very good copy with some minor browning and foxing.

Price: $2,950.00

Item ID: 6218