Paul Hindemith

Paul Hindemith

Paul Hindemith studied violin at the Dr Hoch's Konservatorium of Frankfurt and played from 1915 to 1923 in the Frankfurt opera. From 1921 to 1929 he played viola in the Amar Quarter, where he was advocate for contemporary music. Throughout the years, he held multiple positions as teachers, but he remained most popular as a violist. During the Second Worldwar he fleed to the USA and was given the American nationality in 1948, Later, he returned to Europe to teach at the university of Zürich.

His use rhythm, called "Motorik" by himself (a combination of Motor and Musik) is piercing, and at times even tormenting. It echoes the arrival of industralisation and the motor, as Hindemith opposes any form of sentimentality, psychology or personality. This way, Hinemith created shrill, neoclassicistic music (Gebrauchsmusik, music with a social or political aim). 

His body of works is quite extensive, with more than 100 compositions in all kinds of genres. Even though he was an advocate of contemporary music, he never felt affiliated with dodecaphony. He wrote several theoretic treatises, among which his Unterweisung im Tonsatz from 1937 in which Hindemith offers several systems in which the tension between intervals, harmony and melody is analysed and elevated into a compositional technique. 


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