You are not authorised for viewing the full article.i
Please send an email to the Amsterdam University Press.
Although considered one of the most influential music theorists in the United States after the Second World War, little is known about Felix Salzer’s scholarly activities in Vienna during the 1920s and 1930s. This early scholarship culminated in a book that is today mostly forgotten, Sinn und Wesen der abendländischen Mehrstimmigkeit (1935). In this work, Salzer attempted to provide a history of Western polyphony based on Schenker’s concept of composing-out; in doing so, he challenged many prevailing views of music history. In proposing a history using composing-out, Salzer simultaneously devised a historical narrative of ever-increasing proportions. This paper discusses the role of musical proportions in Sinn und Wesen and examines Salzer’s analysis of one piece, Johannes Ockeghem’s chanson Je n’ay dueil que je ne suis morte. Additionally, it compares Salzer’s view of Ockeghem to one proposed by another scholar of the time, Otto Gombosi.