[Smt-talk] Where is this Schenker quote?

Edward Klorman eklorman at juilliard.edu
Wed Apr 24 12:48:36 PDT 2013

Dear group,
I recently read a quote from Schenker that went like this: "I am the only musician in the German-speaking world."
I'm trying to find it again so that I may quote it, but am having difficulty. Do any of you know where I could find it? I have a plethora of articles on my laptop, not all of which are searchable sadly.
Thanks for your help.
Kelly SymonsMcGill UniversityMA Music Research

I'm not familiar with this quote, but it reminds me of the anecdote one sometimes hears that Brahms purportedly stated: "Only young Schenker knows how to write about music." I first heard this from Milton Babbitt, who was unable to provide a citation, but I suspect Babbitt was thinking of an article by Israel Citkowitz entitled "The Role of Heinrich Schenker" in Modern Music 11 (1933): 18-23. I've not consulted the Citkowitz piece directly, but William Pastille cites it in "Heinrich Schenker, Anti-Organicist," 19th-Century Music 8, no. 1 (Summer 1984): 29-36. Citkowitz's profile on Schenker Documents Online is at this link:


Is Citkowitz indeed the original source of this anecdote? Of course, even if this quote were authentic, it would refer to Schenker's early reviews and such, and not the theoretical writings that are now more familiar to most of us.



Edward Klorman, PhD
The Juilliard School
Chair, Music Theory and Analysis
Faculty, Chamber Music

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