Robert Schumann's Album for the Young and the Coming of Age of Nineteenth-Century Piano Pedagogy

In 1843, Robert Schumann noted that his highly original if slightly bizarre piano cycles of the 1830s had not endeared him to the public or to his publishers. He regretfully conceded that the financial responsibilities of supporting a wife and family had forced him to consider not only "artistic fruits" of his labor but also the "prosaic" ones.1 At the same time, Schumann was concerned about the poor quality of pedagogical piano music available for teaching his own young daughters. Therefore, in the final decade of his life, he began composing works aimed at satisfying the escalating middle-class demand for Hausmusik.2

Schumann's initial essay in this genre, the Album for the Young (Album für die Jugend), op. 68, not only revolutionized attitudes concerning music education, but also inaugurated an entirely new genre of piano literature—programmatic music written explicitly for children. The spectacular and instantaneous success of the Album inspired Schumann to write many more pieces for children, spawned a host of copycat publications, and most importantly, popularized a forward-looking pedagogical philosophy whose ramifications extended into the twentieth century. While it can be argued that the Album was and is the most widely known of Schumann's works, its significance as a historical, musical, and pedagogical document has been largely overlooked. This article attempts a broad evaluation of the Album by providing documentation and discussion of the following: the historical and political contexts of Hausmusik as a signature concept of nineteenth-century bourgeois sensibility, the sources of Schumann's pedagogical philosophies, the developmental history and design of the Album, the reception history of the Album, and the influence of the Album on German and American piano pedagogy.

Hausmusik and the Bourgeois Sensibility

Hausmusik,3 literally music designed for playing at home, was a repertory distinguished primarily by its place of performance and only secondarily by its style or genre. The sacred intimacy of the Hausmusik setting, eloquently if sentimentally preserved in the etchings of the famous nineteenth-century illustrator Ludwig Richter, contrasted starkly with the sumptuous and contrived elegance of the aristocratic salon as well as with the grandeur of large public performance spaces.4 The development of Hausmusik coincided with the growing debate in the 1840s concerning the social dimensions of music. Fractured into a myriad of states, the Germany of Schumann's day sought and found in the arts an affirming force for unification. By cultivating specifically "German" traits of seriousness, simplicity, and Volkstümlichkeit, Hausmusik set itself apart from that large body of aristocratic French and Italian salon music which the press criticized as being frivolous, artificial, and corruptive of good taste.5 By relying on a tripartite emphasis on home, church, and nature, Hausmusik aimed to raise the cultural literacy of its middle-class practitioners. The piano, the instrument of choice for Hausmusik because of its reasonable cost and its unique ability to reproduce multiple-voiced textures, soon became a ubiquitous feature of Biedermeier parlors.6

Hausmusik fit squarely into a general constellation of Enlightenment ideas concerning self-cultivation, self-education, and civic humanism known as Bildung. These turn-of-the-century developments in educational theory, child psychology, and learning psychology were set into motion by the publication of Jean Jacques Rousseau's Emile in 1762. Emile comprised Rousseau's rejection of the "spare the rod and spoil the child" mentality of church-dominated school systems; it soon became "the most censored, banned, and therefore sought-after book of the century."7 Rousseau denied the notion that men were irreparably tainted by original sin or that children were merely imperfect adults who needed only to be whipped into conformity. Instead, because "everything is good as it comes from the hands of the Maker of things,"8 he postulated that children were innately virtuous and were capable of being guided to reason. He envisioned an educational system free of divisions along class lines where children would be incited to learn by being given free rein to explore the world through sensory experience. Central to Rousseau's educational models were concepts of learning readiness, the sequential presentation of material, making materials child-appropriate, appealing to a child's sense of play and fantasy, the cultivation of self-directed learning, a child's right to self-determination and independence, and above all, education's central role in the development of a morally responsive citizenry.

Rousseau's ideas concerning the education of children inspired the formation of experimental schools by Johann Bernhard Basedow (1724-90), Johann Pestalozzi (1746-1827) and Johann Hebart (1776-1841). As Prussia moved toward the establishment of a national system of education in a defensive response to the Napoleonic wars, teachers from these institutions soon spread throughout Prussia and from there to Britain, Russia, and the New World. The belief that music was the language of feeling and that it possessed a moral dimension led Rousseau, Basedow, and Pestalozzi to devise curricula which included singing and music instruction.9 For influential nineteenth-century German writers such as Jean Paul Richter, E.T.A. Hoffmann, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Ludwig Tieck, Heinrich von Kleist, and Joseph von Eichendorff, the literary and the musical were in fact sympathetic experiences in the life of the emotions.10 The arts were seen as crucial to the education of a hoher Mensch, a status achieved not through divine intervention but rather through a program of self-education or Bildung.


The Sources of Schumann's Pedagogical Philosophies

Although Schumann would have absorbed a commitment to Bildung from his father, a successful bookseller and publisher, his ideas concerning piano pedagogy may well have been influenced by his piano teacher, Friedrich Wieck, the father and teacher of his future bride, the consummate virtuoso Clara Wieck.11 Unlike many piano teachers of his day, Wieck had begun his adult life by preparing for a career in theology. Even though Prussia wrested control of its educational systems from the clergy in 1810, Wieck's theological studies would have included courses in general pedagogy. He also would have known about Basedow's experimental school, the Philanthropium, which was established in 1768 in Dessau. Wieck was the first person to apply Enlightenment theories about learning and methodology to piano pedagogy.12 In articles for the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik and Signale für die musikalische Welt which he later collected into a volume called Klavier und Gesang, he passionately articulated the need for emphasizing the individuality of each student, allowing children a sensory exploration of the keyboard, postponing the teaching of music reading, dividing learning tasks into small child-appropriate units, awakening interest through self-discovery wherever possible, and motivating children through the continual mastery of small steps. Wieck's lessons were patterned after Hebart's four-step teaching process comprising Klarheit (breaking the object into its smallest teachable elements), Umgang (relating those objects to each other), System (arranging the facts into a unity), and Methode (testing the student for application of knowledge).13 Advocating a more holistic approach, Wieck wrote of the necessity of training in related arts such as composition, improvisation, and theory. He even attempted to transfer the principles of beautiful tone production exemplified in bel canto singing to the piano. Railing against the empty virtuosity of pianists such as Kalkbrenner, Hünten, and Liszt, he demanded, even at the beginning levels, a devotion to artistry. "We have much beautiful and enjoyable to do...almost always with an eye to the cultivation of technique without souring the child's feeling for the piano through strenuous senseless, mechanical practicing." The three cornerstones of his teaching, he maintained, were "the most sensitive listening, the finest taste, and a profound sensibility" as opposed to "absolutely no hearing, perverted taste, and no feeling of any kind."14

It is only in comparison with contemporaneous piano methods that Wieck's position can be appreciated. As the piano displaced the harpsichord and clavichord as the keyboard instrument of choice at the turn of the nineteenth century, at least nine new instruction methods written specifically for the pianoforte by James Hook, Daniel Gottlob Türk, Johann Peter Milchmeyer, Ignaz Pleyel, Louis Adam (author of two methods), Jan Ladislav Dussek, and Muzio Clementi were published in England, France, and Germany between the years 1785 and 1804. These were followed by more exhaustive surveys by Franz Hünten, Henri Herz, Johann Hummel, and Carl Czerny. Although these methods purported to treat the most elementary rudiments of piano playing, the focus was primarily on the mindless training of the fingers as conveyed through exercises and lessons. For example, Clementi's influential manual packed all there was to learn about music reading, fingering, and performance practice into fifteen pages of dense text, followed by scale, trill, and double-note exercises. It concluded with a rapid progression of "lessons" which had the student playing in double notes by Lesson V.15 Hünten's Instructions for the Piano-Forte advocated at least three hours of daily practice with the first hour spent in drilling scales and five-finger exercises.16 Herz's Méthode complète de piano, op. 100 also recommended at least an hour of daily practice spent on scales and passages contained in the method as well as on exercises with his new invention, the Dactylion.17 Hummel's monumental treatise emphasized the verbal presentation of musical concepts that were then drilled in by the endless repetition of 2200 technical exercises.18 As was customary for the time, Hummel prescribed a full hour of instruction every day for at least six months to a year so as to prevent the ingraining of bad habits. Carl Czerny, Beethoven's most notable student and the composer of thousands of exercises treating every imaginable technical problem, recommended that beginning students have one one-hour lesson daily in addition to one hour of practice for which the constant repetition of exercises was recommended.19 The introduction to his op. 337, Forty Daily Exercises for the Pianoforte With Prescribed Repetitions for Acquiring and Preserving Virtuosity, exhorted pianists to the "assiduous practice of all the most oft-recurring difficulties," persisting until "perfect facility is acquired." 20 Attainment of such facility was promised if the pianist would devote one hour of daily practice to the forty exercises, which were to be played "with all the repetitions indicated, and without any interruption whatever, in the prescribed tempo." The exercises, all a page or two in length and of phenomenal difficulty, were to be repeated between ten and twenty times each, depending upon the example. Scales, finger passages dwelling on the weak outer fingers of the hand, broken scales, trills, double notes, fast repeated chords, and large skips were to be performed at fiendish tempos approaching M.M. 184 to the quarter note. Mechanical technical development continued to be the focus of widely used methods published after 1850 by Ferdinand Beyer, Sigismund Lebert and Ludwig Stark, Karl Urbach, Louis Plaidy, Josef Pischna, and Charles-Louis Hanon. While Beyer's widely distributed method distinguished itself by a more realistic pacing of material, it was nevertheless dominated by exercises or etudes.21 Echoing pedagogues from the first half of the century, Hanon recommended that a full hour of daily practice be devoted to playing the exercises from his Le pianiste-virtuose from beginning to end.22 Additional piano methods were linked to the use of demonic finger exercisers and practice aids such as the Chiroplast of Johann Logier, Hand-guide of Friedrich Kalkbrenner,23Dactylion of Henri Herz, Digitorium of Myer Marks, Technicon of James Brotherhood, and Tekniklavier of Almon Virgil as well as assorted practice claviers, hand gymnasiums, and legato monitors.24 For many thousands of amateur piano players, the majority of them young women, hours of daily practice on scales and exercises became a way of life. Wieck did not completely eschew the use of exercises. However, his parody, "Frau Grund and Four Lessons," condemned the teacher who would prescribe "daily two hours of scales in all major and minor keys, in unison, thirds and sixths, and then daily three to four hours of etudes by Clementi, Cramer and Moscheles." His own cure for a technically deficient student amounted to "a daily quarter of an hour of scales that I shall have you play, as I see fit, staccato, legato, fast, slow, forte and piano" with an emphasis on beauty of tone.25 Further, concerning the use of mechanical devices, "I permit no cutting of the web between the fingers, no wrist guide, no finger springs and no stretching machine, and certainly not the finger torturer thought up by a famous pupil of mine to the just outrage of his third and fourth fingers, which he fashioned against my wishes and used behind my back."26

One of Schumann's earliest musical mentors, Wieck served as a founding editor of Schumann's new journal, the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik, and as the model for Master Raro, a character in Schumann's Davidsbund, a society devoted to battling musical philistines.27 In the pages of the Neue Zeitschrift and other musical periodicals, both men continually attacked the degraded state of public taste and the hegemony of Parisian piano music, which was aided and abetted by the overt and crass commercialism of Paris-based virtuoso-pianists, many of whom had entered into partnerships with publishers of piano methods, manufacturers of dubious piano aids, and instrument builders. It is clear that their concerns extended to the poor quality of music for children and amateurs.28 Wieck's review of newly issued compositions for the pedagogical market for the Signale für die musikalische Welt in October 1843 railed against the "comfortless plunder and tinsel-playing" of the virtuoso composer-pianists of his day and sarcastically derided the poverty, superficiality, and utter tastelessness of a variety of works by Filtsch, Burgmüller, Hünten, Schad, Rosenfeld, Kalkbrenner, Dohler, Bertini, Straub, and Dreyschock.29 Wieck's damning critique of the pedagogical value of Logier's chiroplast appeared in the very first issue of the Neue Zeitschrift.30

Like Wieck, Schumann believed that musical excellence depended upon a proper foundation built from childhood. In 1838, he reflected regretfully to Clara on the poverty of his own early musical education: "If I had grown up in a similar situation to Mendelssohn, dedicated from childhood to music, I would have become you and perhaps surpassed you—I feel that because of the energy of my inventions."31 He minced no words in ridiculing the "phenomenal insipidness" of Czerny's Variations, op. 302. "Had I enemies," he wrote," I would, in order to destroy them, force them to listen to nothing but music such as this."32 In a survey of contemporary piano studies, he lamented that while they were useful for training the hands and head, their "intellectual monotony" failed to capture "...that charm of the imaginative which causes youth to lose itself in the beauty of the piece and forget its difficulty while mastering it."33 In cautioning students against spending hours of daily practice on mechanical exercises, he claimed that to do so was "as reasonable as trying to recite the alphabet faster and faster every day."34 He entreated teachers and parents to be selective in choosing music for their children. "No child can be brought to healthy manhood on sweetmeats and pastry. Spiritual like bodily nourishment must be simple and solid."35 In addition, "Never play bad compositions and never listen to them when not absolutely obliged to do so."36 Thus, Schumann's first pedagogical project, the Album for the Young, was a bold statement about what Hausmusik in all its didactic, cultural, and moral dimensions should be. After all, "The laws of morality are also those of art."37


The Developmental History and Design of the Album

By 1848, the year of composition and publication of the Album für die Jugend, Robert and Clara Schumann had four children. The oldest children, Marie and Elise, were in the beginning stages of piano lessons. Clara Schumann noted on 1 September 1848, the date of Marie's seventh birthday, that "pieces children usually study in piano lessons are so poor that it occurred to Robert to compose and publish a volume (a kind of album) consisting entirely of children's pieces."38 At the same time, Schumann was fully aware of the commercial possibilities of products marketed for children. Recognition of childhood as a separate developmental phase had spawned profitable cottage industries in the production of children's toys, clothing, furniture, calendars, songs, and books.39 Accordingly, Schumann gave Marie a birthday notebook of titled character pieces, the first stage in the complex evolution of the Album.40 Between September 2 and 27, he expanded upon the concept, composing additional miniatures and adding arrangements of familiar tunes by Germany's greatest composers—Bach, Händel, Gluck, Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Weber, and Mendelssohn. Schumann also drew up a lengthy list of "House Rules and Maxims for Young Musicians," aphorisms that articulated his aesthetic philosophies and that exhorted his youthful admirers to put virtuosity at the service of artistry. By inserting the "House Rules" and margin drawings between the musical selections, he hoped to create a poetically unified "musical domestic album" incorporating music, text, and illustrations.41 Realizing that Christmas was an ideal time for gift giving, Schumann initially attempted to have op. 68 published by Breitkopf und Härtel as a Weihnachtsalbum für Kinder (Christmas Album for Children). In what turned out to be a terrible business decision, Härtel rejected the proposal, noting that "the market for your compositions is, by and large, rather limited—more limited than you could believe....[W]e have lost through the publication of your works a significant sum and there is at this point little prospect of recovering it."42 With the assistance of his friend Carl Reinecke, Schumann then offered it in the form we know today to the publisher Julius Schuberth of Hamburg. The final format consisted of 43 titled character pieces43 divided into two sections. Part I (numbers 1-18), "Für Kleinere," contains easier works. Part II (numbers 19-43), "Für Erwachsenere," contains works of greater difficulty. The lists of "musical house rules" and the compositions of other composers were eliminated. Personalized titles, such as the original title of the third piece, "Lullaby for Ludwig," were generalized. The idea of offering the work for sale as a Christmas album was also abandoned, presumably to generate a broader market appeal. For financial reasons, Schumann was also forced to give up on the idea of having individual illustrations for each of the pieces. However, he managed to persuade the famous illustrator of children's books, Ludwig Richter, to draw the title page in exchange for twenty-four hours of composition instruction for Richter's son. Richter went to the Schumann home where he heard a complete performance of op. 68 by Clara. He subsequently drew vignettes depicting ten of the pieces. A seasonal theme was suggested by the placement of four larger vignettes at the corners. At the upper left was the picture for "Spring Song," showing a mother with her children gathering flowers. The upper right depicted the "Harvest Song." A scene at the bottom right showing grandmother and grandfather sitting by the hearth with their grandchildren illustrated the two pieces of "Wintertime." The bottom left showed the "Gathering of the Grapes—Happy Time!" The large vignettes framed smaller ones, three on each side. The illustrations on the left depicted three girls dancing in a circle ("Round"), a farmer with his little son ("Happy Farmer"), and a crying child mourning a bird lying dead before an open cage ("First Sorrow"). On the right were a tightrope walker dancing on the ropes ("Mignon"), an old man with a heavy sack ("Knecht Ruprecht"), and a child on a hobby horse ("Wild Rider"). The extraordinary beauty and complexity of the design with its cherubs, bountiful wreaths, Gothic arches, and curling tendrils of leaves and flowers, showed how powerfully Richter was affected by these small but intensely poetic works.44

In a letter to his friend Carl Reinecke, Schumann claimed he had never been happier than when composing these pieces, but he distinguished them from his earlier cycle, the op. 15 Kinderszenen, claiming that the Kinderszenen were reminiscences written for adults but that the Album was written from the perspective of a child.45 Clara said that her husband "translated everything he saw, read, and experienced into music,"46 and Schumann himself wrote that these pieces in particular "were taken directly from my family life."47 Indeed, the Album is a concrete musical record of important events from the early years of Schumann's children. "Humming Song," initially titled "Lullaby for Ludwig," was dedicated to Schumann's newborn son. "A Little Piece" was written for Marie to be played after her schoolwork was finished. The vigorous sforzandi in "Wild Rider" were meant to recreate the breakneck ride of a child on a hobbyhorse, knocking recklessly against the legs of chairs and tables. "First Sorrow" was a lament written on the death of the family's beloved pet greenfinch. "Little Morning Wanderer" commemorated the day when Marie, lap-desk firmly under her arm, first went to school.48 The march began with footsteps "fresh and sprightly," becoming "softer" as they receded into the distance. Eugenie Schumann recalled that her mother outlined the following program for the piece: the wanderer was depressed at the thought of leaving home (m. 9), but dispelled her sorrow with a yodel (m. 14-16), walking on bravely until the village was lost to sight and only the church bells could be heard ringing in the distance (mm. 21 ff., bass).49 "Echoes from the Theatre" recorded the agitated response of six-year-old Marie to her first out-of-town trip to the Viennese theatre. "Remembrance," dated 4 November 1847, was written in memory of Mendelssohn, godfather to the Schumann children. As to the three untitled pieces headed only by three stars (numbers 21, 26, and 30), Clara said that Robert "might have meant the thoughts of parents about their children." Schumann even remembered a friend, the Danish composer, Niels Gade, in "Nordic Song," using the musical letters of Gade's name to carve out a melody, a musical practice having its roots in the Renaissance.

Other works in the Album recalled scenes from everyday life or familiar characters from folklore or literature. According to Clara, the program for "Hunting Song" began with the resonating sound of horns blowing (mm. 1-2), the prancing of the horses and arrival of the riders (mm. 3-4), the startled deer flying into the bushes (m. 10), and a cracked bugler's note (m. 25, alto). In "Knecht Ruprecht," the character from German legend who scolds naughty children at Christmas time was heard stomping up the stairs, his staff knocking sharply on each step (mm. 1-24). The following section depicted the trembling of the children (mm. 25-32), the entreating words of the saint (m. 33 ff.), and his noisy stumbling back down the stairs (m. 49 ff.). Other pieces recreated rustic scenes of peasants singing. The first part of the "Happy Farmer" depicted the farmer singing alone, joined at measure 6 by the soprano of his little son. "Rustic Song" opened with a chorus of girls, the boys joining in at measure 9. The second part depicted a girl singing solo (m. 17 ff.), ending with the return of the girls' chorus to a reed accompaniment (m. 25 ff.). The two pieces of "Wintertime" memorialized Biedermeier family life. Schumann recreated a scenario of forests and city streets completely covered with snow counterpointed against a cheery room where grandparents and children were gathered round.50 The second piece, "Wintertime II," quoted two well-known German folk tunes, "Sweet Lovers Love the Spring" and the "Grandfather's Dance." There were also pieces depicting "Scheherazade," fabled storyteller of the 1001 Nights, and forlorn "Mignon" of Goethe's Wilhelm Meister. Finally, from Schumann's Protestant heritage were two harmonizations of "Freue dich, o meine Seele."

In writing op. 68, Schumann not only addressed the necessity of making piano learning pleasurable for children but he also single-handedly created a new genre in piano literature—an album of titled programmatic character pieces written explicitly for children.51 Ten years prior to the publication of the Album, the influential reviewer Ludwig Rellstab had criticized Schumann's use of descriptive titles, saying that "music has to be music."52 Perhaps in response to this criticism, Schumann had abandoned titles, resuming their use only with the publication of the Album. By 1848, however, Schumann seemed to have resolved any conflicting feelings about using descriptive titles for musical compositions. He wrote that "[t]itles for pieces of music, since they again have come into favor in our day, have been censured here and there, and it has been said that 'good music needs no sign-post.' Certainly not, but neither does a title rob it of its value; and the composer in adding one at least prevents a complete misunderstanding of the character of his music. If the poet is licensed to explain the whole meaning of his poem by its title, why may not the composer do likewise?"53


The Reception History of the Album

Announcements of the publication of the Album first appeared in November and December 1848 in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik and Signale für die musikalische Welt, and it was finally released to the trade in January 1849. The commercial success of Schumann's enterprise was immediate, widespread, and unprecedented for its time. A press release of more than 100 copies was uncommon in the nineteenth century, yet Schuberth, the publisher of the Album, planned an initial printing of 500 copies which he doubled to 1000 a few months later.54 In October 1849, in order to capitalize on the Album's success, Schuberth divided the op. 68 into two separate volumes and issued them in a fancy gold-embellished vellum edition. In an advertisement placed in August 1850 in the Signale für die musikalische Welt, he further claimed to have sold 2000 copies within the first year despite the steep price of three thalers.55 In December 1850, only two years after the initial printing, Schuberth also prepared a revised second edition of the Album with the "Musical House Rules" included as an appendix. Schumann wrote to his friend Franz Brendel in September 1849 that "the Jugendalbum has found a market like few if any works of recent years—I hear this from the publisher himself."56 He noted in his Haushaltbuch that his income had increased from 314 thalers in 1848 to 1275 thalers in 1849, largely due to proceeds from the Album. By the end of the nineteenth century, Schumann's op. 68 had been issued in 16 editions, 6 in the year 1887 alone.57

Isabel Eicker's exhaustive survey of 743 nineteenth-century albums of children's pieces showed that the number of new publications per year, averaged in ten-year periods, immediately increased after the publication of the Album, from 2 per year in the 1840s to 15 per year by the turn of the century.58 Many of the albums issued shortly after op. 68 copied aspects of Schumann's work, including 16 which copied the design of the title page59 and 56 which borrowed the exact title or made use of a slightly varied title.60 Eicker traced similarities in texture between specific pieces of op. 68 and single works included in collections by Biehl, Ambros, Gurlitt, Baumfelder, Jadassohn, Löschhorn, and Kügele. Scharwenka even headed one of his pieces with three stars. There were innumerable instances of correlation in the subject matter, titling, and musical characteristics of the individual pieces. Both Eicker and Günther Müller have noted the borrowing of Schumann's titles by Kullak, Tchaikovsky, Reger, Winterberger, Martinz, Hiller, and de Hartog, among others.61

Also influential on composers was Schumann's idealized formulation of childhood, a formulation however that had been developed in contemporary collections of children's stories and poems. Pieces often focused on specific family members and friends; holidays, seasons, and festivals; children's games, pets, and toys; rustic activity; fairy and folk tales; national dances and songs; the world of nature; and church hymns.62 Notable was the absence of music designed to sound brilliant without being very difficult: quadrilles; variations, fantasies, etudes, or rondos on popular operatic tunes; waltzes; galopps; sentimental showpieces; and other salon music considered to be of a corruptive nature. The edifying presence of Protestant chorales and pieces glorifying the intimacies of the Biedermeier home and hearth steadfastly proclaimed Schumann's "Romantic" aesthetics. The subtle subtexts of nationalism and class discussed previously continued to be transmitted in albums of children's music, especially since many of the nineteenth-century composers of these albums were in fact admiring students, teachers, and associates of Schumann from the conservatories in Leipzig and Dresden.63 Schumann's construct continued to inform similar works by a stellar array of nineteenth-century composers such as Amy Beach, George Bizet, Carl Julius Eschmanns, Niels Gade, Enrique Granados, Cornelius Gurlitt, Stephen Heller, Ferdinand Hiller, Theodor Kirchner, Louis Köhler, Theodor Kullak, Gabriel Pierne, Eduard Poldini, Max Reger, Carl Reinecke, Giacomo Rossini, and Peter Tchaikovsky. Twentieth-century composers of children's albums included Bela Bartok, Ernst Bloch, Robert Casadesus, Chick Corea, Claude Debussy, Norman Dello Joio, David Diamond, Hugo Distler, Richard Faith, Ross Lee Finney, Jean Francaix, Luis Gianneo, Alexander Gretchaninoff, Sofia Gubaidulina, Howard Hanson, Michael Hennagin, Dmitri Kabalevsky, Aram Khachaturian, John La Montaine, Lowell Liebermann, Witold Lutoslawski, Darius Milhaud, Federico Mompou, Leo Ornstein, Octavio Pinto, Francis Poulenc, Sergei Prokofiev, Vladimir Rebikov, Hugo Reinhold, Pierre Sancan, Erik Satie, Rodion Shchedrin, Dmitry Shostokovich, Elie Siegmeister, Leo Smit, Alexander Tansman, Heitor Villa-Lobos, and Alec Wilder.64

The popularity of Schumann's op. 68 could also be measured by the availability of favorite pieces in the form of arrangements for other instruments. In the nineteenth century, Schuberth issued arrangements for piano and violin, piano and cello, piano and flute, and piano and viola, and Constantin Sternberg, Simon Breau, Carl Schröder, and August Horn published transcriptions for other combinations of stringed and keyboard instruments.65 Arrangements of Album pieces continued to be popular into the twentieth century. A recent search of the Worldcat database revealed arrangements of various pieces of the Album for E-flat baritone saxophone and piano, B-flat bass clarinet and piano, cello and piano, voice and piano, bassoon or contrabassoon and piano, tuba and piano, flute and piano, clarinet and piano, alto sax and piano, marimba or xylophone, one or two guitars, flute and guitar, organ, trumpet or cornet quartet and piano, brass quartet, string quartet, saxophone quartet, clarinet quartet, flute quartet, harp, harp and trombone, trumpet or cornet trio with piano, flute-oboe-clarinet-bassoon quartet, string orchestra with double bass and piano, a quartet of any four G-clef instruments, a quartet of "any four instruments," woodwind quintet, and string orchestra. Of particular note was the worldwide exposure accorded the "The Happy Farmer" by virtue of its inclusion in the first book of the Suzuki Violin School.

In addition, Schumann's "House Rules," the collection of quasi-Biblical pronouncements that articulated the philosophical underpinnings of the Album, achieved a status fully equal to that of the Album. First issued as an appendix to the second edition, it soon appeared as an independent entity. Liszt made a French translation of the "House Rules" and Henry Hugo Pierson completed an English translation soon afterward. The "House Rules" appeared in countless schoolbooks and were subsequently translated into many other foreign languages.


The Influence of the Album on German and American Piano Pedagogy

Schumann's Album was immediately recognized as an important resource by leading German pedagogues of the second half of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth centuries. Alfred Dörffel's enthusiastic review of the op. 68 pieces in the Neue Zeitschrift recognized that Schumann had created something new and noted the "rich content" of these "small, ingenious tone poems."66 He noted the poetic inspiration of the pieces, proclaimed their suitability for the holistic musical development of children, and welcomed their addition to the pedagogical canon. The reviewer in the Signale für die musikalische Welt called the Album a treasure of poetry, feeling, and humor. Shortly after its publication, Schumann received reports that his Album had been well received by teachers in Zurich, and he was entreated by Julius Fischer, a well-known piano teacher, to write a pedagogical piano course. Isabel Eicker surveyed the contents of four important guides to teaching repertoire written by Louis Köhler (1865), Carl Reinecke (1896), A. Ruthardt (1905), and Hugo Riemann (1912).67 Of the 72 collections of children's pieces by 50 composers that were recommended, Schumann's op. 68 and op. 15 and Theodore Kullak's op. 62 and op. 81 were the only works to be listed in at least three of the four guides.

However, it is arguable that Schumann's original conception of a "musical domestic album" linking music with illustrations and text achieved full fruition not in his own country, but rather in the United States. The intimate connections between German and American piano pedagogy were forged in the mid-nineteenth century when American pianists and educators enamored of German virtuosos such as de Meyer, Herz, and Thalberg sought further study in Austria and Germany with famous teachers such as Clara Schumann, Liszt, Theodor Leschetizky, Carl Tausig, Theodor Kullak, Ludwig Deppe, Friedrich Wieck, and Moritz Moszkowski. The section entitled "Historical Documents" in Kenneth Williams' article, "International Students in Music: Crossing Boundaries," in this issue of the College Music Symposium relates the experiences of three of these American pianists—William Mason, Amy Fay, and Carl Lachmund.68 German-educated pianists were responsible for establishing America's first schools of music (Oberlin Conservatory, Peabody Conservatory, Cincinnati Conservatory, Chicago Musical College, and the New England Conservatory), which they modeled after Mendelssohn's Leipzig Conservatory.69 The American market was dominated by traditional German piano methods (Hünten, Beyer, Müller/Knorr, Lebert and Stark, Köhler, Urbach, Damm) or by American instruction books adapted from German courses (Geib, Richardson, and Peters).70 Finally, many Austrian- and German-educated musicians and educators emigrated to America, assuming important positions as teachers and administrators in conservatories of music (Carl and Reinhold Faelten, Ernest Hutcheson, Leopold Godowsky, Rudolph Ganz, Carl Friedburg, Edward Steuermann, Rudolph Serkin, Mieczyslaw Horszowski, Miecyzslaw Münz, Artur Schnabel, Rafael Joseffy, et al.).71

At the end of the nineteenth century, however, American piano pedagogy declared its independence from and superiority over European methods.72 In a series of turn-of-the century methods by Annie (Jessy) Curwen (1886, 1889), Calvin Cady, Julia Caruthers (1903), William Berold (1904), Jessie Gaynor, Blanche Dingley-Mathews and W. S. B. Mathews(1907), Nin Darlington, Juliette Aurelia Graves Adams (1907), and Dorothy Gaynor Blake (1916), the pleasurability of piano learning and the cultivation of expressiveness were given precedence over the development of technical prowess.73 The shift in focus in American piano pedagogy away from mechanical practicing and empty virtuosity renewed the debate ignited by Schumann and Wieck a half century earlier. In fact, an article from Wieck's Klavier und Gesang sharply criticizing the "charlatanry" and "glittery tawdriness" of virtuoso performers who cultivated the "heartless and worthless dexterity of the fingers" to the exclusion of beautiful tone, shading, and expressiveness appeared in a popular American music magazine, Dwight's Journal, in 1875.74 The influential pedagogue, W. S. B. Mathews, in a December 1896 article for The Musical Record, cast doubt upon the value of a traditional European training:

You can find quantities of well-trained fingers, and lots of charming exercise-playing, but never in the whole thousands of pupils one single musical player, except by accident in some pupil for whom music was too strong for the...method to kill out....The assiduous practice of exercises of any kind gives rise to a style and manner of playing which is exercise-like and not musical. The touch becomes unsympathetic, and playing monotonous, and the whole takes on more and more a distinct character as good exercise-playing and not musical playing.75

Schumann's character pieces for children continued to be valued for their imaginative content and were included as repertoire in methods by Mathews, William T. Sudds, Stephen T. Gordon, John Williams, John Thompson, Raymond Burrows, Ella Mason Ahearn, John Schaum, Leila Fletcher, June Weyright, Maxwell Eckstein, Louise Goss, Kurt Stone, and in the Oxford Piano Course.76 Beryl Rubenstein, professor at the Cleveland Institute of Music and author of the 1929 Outline of Pedagogy, recommended Schumann's music for the unusual breadth of its interpretive and technical difficulty.77 When the Leipzig-educated president of the Juilliard School, Ernest Hutcheson, reviewed Schumann's Album in his highly influential book of 1948, The Literature of the Piano, he evoked yet again the same terms of aesthetic debate to which Schumann had responded a century earlier:

Nine tenths of the "teaching" pieces that flood the market might be thrown into the trash barrel without a pang to make way for that Golden Treasury of music for children, the 43 Piano Pieces for the Young, Opus 68, familiarly known as the Album for Youth. What a blessing it would be to rid ourselves of the litter-ature of swing songs devoid of swing, cradle songs that don't rock, skating pieces, pop-guns, and what not? These are true teaching pieces in the sense that they are written to be taught, not played. They remind me forcibly of a remark made by an angling friend of mine about the array of lures displayed in a sporting-good shop: that they are manufactured to capture not fish, but the eye of the fisherman. Schumann provides more tempting bait....78

The primary means by which American methods were made more child friendly—the introduction of titled character pieces, poetic texts, and illustrations—had been envisioned by Schumann in 1848. Technological advances in printing facilitated the publication of methods specifically designed to appeal to children. Larger print, colorful covers, fanciful pen-and-ink illustrations, musical games, and titled character pieces were featured in methods by John M. Williams (1926-38), Mary Ruth Jesse (1927-30), Harold Bauer, Angela Diller, and Elizabeth Quaile (1931), Bernard Wagness (1938), Raymond Burrow and Ella Mason Ahearn (1945), Michael Aaron (1945-52), Leila Fletcher (1947-56), June Weybright (1949-50), Maxwell Eckstein (1951), Ada Richter (1954), Frances Clarke (1955-62), Edna Mae Burnam (1959-50), and others. Visual presentation assumed an overriding importance. John Thompson's Modern Graded Piano Course, which appeared in 1937 and which for years was the most readily recognized American piano method, took pains to acknowledge the contributions of its illustrator, Frederick S. Manning, as well as of the poet who composed verses and poems accompanying the musical selections, Katherine Faith.79 Elizabeth Quaile's A Very First Piano Book of 1939 conveyed its musical lessons in the form of a series of character pieces and verses detailing the life of Tony the pony with charming line drawings by the famous illustrator of children's books, Roger Duvoisin.80 Edna Mae Burnams' Step by Step Piano Course of 1956 contained titled character pieces accompanied by fleshed out illustrations, not mere line drawings.81 In James Bastien's Bastien Piano Library of 1981 color was introduced; its black line drawings were accented in red.82 Six years later, Bastien's Piano for the Young Beginner was embellished with full color pictures.83 A survey of selected American piano methods showed that all of the methods published after 1987 featured full color illustrations, with the sole exception of June Edison's Peanuts Piano Course (which contained fanciful line drawings by the famous cartoonist, Charles Schultz).84 Furthermore, the addition of poetic lyrics to the music was extremely common not only in the selections featuring well-known children's songs but also in musical pieces composed specifically for the methods. The repertoire contained in these methods was also dramatically different from that found in method books of the previous century. A survey of selected twentieth-century piano courses commercially available in the United States found that fully 75% of the works contained in these methods were titled character pieces, replacing the customary exercises and technical drills.85


Robert Schumann's enduring pedagogical work, the Album for the Young, revolutionized nineteenth- and twentieth-century attitudes concerning piano pedagogy. Instead of the pages of dry technical exercises that filled most nineteenth-century method books, the Album offered children musical poetry. It reformulated the experience of childhood, attempting to activate the pleasurable inner world of the imagination through music that was well crafted, emotive, and responsive to the visual and literary arts. Its phenomenal success and widespread dissemination heightened Schumann's reputation as a composer, inspired the composer to write many new works in this genre, inspired a host of copycat compositions, and popularized modern views of child rearing and pedagogy. In evaluating Schumann's creative output, particularly the much-denigrated late period, the pervasive and lasting influence of the pedagogical works written during the last decade of his life must be acknowledged and accounted for.86 Schumann's modest "domestic musical album," by finding a place in the hearts of the young and the young at heart, changed forever the course of late nineteenth-century piano pedagogy.

1Letter to Carl Kossmaly quoted in Anthony Newcomb, "Schumann and the Marketplace: From Butterflies to Hausmusik," in Nineteenth-Century Piano Music, ed. R. Larry Todd (New York: Schirmer, 1990), 305, note 26. In fact, Schumann's more famous wife, the concert pianist Clara Schumann, was the major breadwinner of the family.

2These include the Album für die Jugend, op. 68; the Lieder-Album für die Jugend, op. 79; Zwölf vierhändige Klavierstücke für kleine und grosse Kinder, op. 85; Ballscenen for piano four-hands, op. 109; Drei Klaviersonaten für die Jugend, op. 118; Sieben Clavierstücke in Fughettenform, op. 126; and the Kinderball for piano four-hands, op. 130. It is interesting that the op. 68 and op. 118, in particular, were inspired by and/or dedicated to his young daughters, not his sons.

3The term was first invoked in a series of articles from 1837-39 by C. F. Becker for Schumann's own journal, the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik. See John Daverio, Robert Schumann: Herald of a "New Poetic Age" (New York: Oxford University Press, 1997), 404.

4Newcomb, "Schumann and the Marketplace," 272.

5Nicolai Petrat, "Hausmusik um 1840," Musica 42 (1988): 255-56. Petrat documents the discussions in the music press about the corrupting influence of Salonmusik and about the edifying properties of good Hausmusik. Critics of salon music often evoked Biblical imagery ("The Flood").

6John Daverio explains that "Biedermeier" brings together the German adjective, bieder, meaning "honest but ordinary," and a common German name, Maier or Meier. See Daverio, Robert Schumann, 395. The word Hausmusik was not associated with the term Biedermeier at first. The first use of the latter term is traced to Adolf Kussmaul in the Fliegende Blätter in 1855-57. See Nicolai Petrat, Hausmusik des Biedermeier im Blickpunkt der zeitgenössischen musikalischen Fachpresse (1815-1848) (Hamburg: Karl Dieter Wagner, 1986), 265.

7James Bowen, A History of Western Education, vol. 3, The Modern West: Europe and the New World (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1981), 183.

8Jean-Jacques Rousseau quoted in Bowen, A History of Western Education, vol. 3, 187.

9Katharina Schilling-Sandvoss discusses the views concerning music of additional German philanthropic pedagogues such as C. F. Bahrdt, W. Wolke, C. Campe, C. Kehr, A. B. Marx, F. W. Schütze, W. Hoppe, and G. Schilling. In addition to Basedow and Wolke, K. Spazier and R. Becker wrote collections of children's songs. See Katharina Schilling-Sandvoss, Kindgemässer Musikunterricht in den musikpädagogischen Auffassungen des 18. und 19. Jahrhunderts (Frankfurt: Peter Lang Verlag, 1997), 70-77, 208-210. Rousseau's ideas about music education are discussed in Schilling-Sandvoss, Kindgemässer Musikunterricht, 51-62.

10See Leon Botstein, "History, Rhetoric, and the Self: Robert Schumann and Music Making in German-Speaking Europe, 1800-1860," in Schumann and His World, ed. R. Larry Todd (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994), 8-25.

11The famous pianist, Hans von Bülow, also studied with Wieck.

12Bonnie Powelson Gritton, "The Pedagogy of Friedrich Wieck" (Ph.D. diss., University of California-Los Angeles, 1998), 58.

13Ibid., 67-71.

14Ibid., 144.

15Muzio Clementi, Introduction to the Art of Playing on the Pianoforte, reprint of the first edition, 2nd issue (New York: Da Capo Press, 1974).

16 See Debra Brubaker, "A History and Critical Analysis of Piano Methods Published in the United States From 1796-1995" (Ph.D. diss., University of Minnesota, 1996), 94-97.

17Ibid., 100.

18Johann Nepomuk Hummel, A Complete Theoretical and Practical Course of Instructions on the Art of Playing the Pianoforte commencing with Simplest Elementary Principles, and including every information requisite to the Most Finished Style of Performance, 1828.

19Czerny was the author of the Complete Theoretical and Practical Piano Forte School, from the First Rudiments of Playing, to the Highest and Most Refined State of Cultivation; with the requisite numerous Examples, newly and expressly composed for the Occasion, 1839.

20Carl Czerny, Forty Daily Exercises, Op. 337, ed. G. Buonamici (New York: Schirmer, 1897), 1.

21Beyer's method became exceedingly popular in the Far East. It was a widely used text in Japan and the only piano method used in Korea until the 1970s. See Wan Kyu Chung, "An Analysis and Evaluation of Beginning Piano Methods Used in Korea" (Ph.D. diss., Texas Tech University, 1992), ix.

22In the preface, Hanon asserted that good pianists were so commonplace that one needed to study 8 or 10 years before venturing to play in public. His 60 exercises, which were to be started after a year of instruction, promised to develop equal agility and strength in all 10 fingers of the hand, thereby "render(ing) possible a complete course of pianistic study in far less time." If one could not find sufficient time to practice, a few hours on the exercises would have a restorative effect. "Difficulties will disappear as if by enchantment." Hanon's exercises remained a staple of twentieth-century methods. C. L. Hanon, The Virtuoso Pianist, trans. Dr. Th. Baker (New York: Schirmer, 1900), preface.

23Kalkbrenner, a famous virtuoso who briefly taught Chopin, stipulated that his Hand-guide be used in conjunction with his piano method of 1830, Méthode pour apprendre le piano a l'aide du guide-mains. See Stewart Gordon, "From Türk to Deppe," in The Well-Tempered Keyboard Teacher, ed. Marienne Uszler, Stewart Gordon, and Elyse Mach (New York: Schirmer Books, 1991), 310.

24For more information see Robert Palmieri and Margaret W. Palmieri, eds., Encyclopedia of Keyboard Instruments (New York: Garland Publishing, 1994), vol. 1, The Piano, s.v. "Keyboard Practice and Exercise Aids," 194-202.

25Friedrich Wieck, Piano and Song (Didactic and Polemical), trans. Henry Pleasants (Stuyvesant, N.Y.: Pendragon Press, 1988), 124-25.

26Wieck is presumably referring to Robert Schumann. See Wieck, Piano and Song, 72-73.

27Although Schumann's relationship with Wieck later deteriorated into acrimony over Wieck's refusal to allow Schumann to marry Clara Wieck, it was Friedrich Wieck to whom he turned for advice when making the pivotal career decision between law and music. See Schumann's letters to his mother from July to August, 1830 in Robert Schumann, Early Letters of Robert Schumann, Originally Published by His Wife, trans. May Herbert (London: George Bell, 1888), 112-119.

28Petrat reports that in the 1840s, potpourris and dance arrangements were bestsellers. For example, the Venetian Galopp by Johann Strauss was printed in an edition of 300,000 copies in 1845. The miserable quality of music produced for the home was criticized in the Signale für die musikalische Welt and Cäcilia, eine Zeitschrift für die musikalische Welt as well as in the Neue Zeitschrift für Musik. See Petrat, "Hausmusik," 256.

29Gritton, The Pedagogy of Friedrich Wieck, 207-14.

30The issue also contained a rebuttal by E. Weber, a proponent of the "Logier method." See Leon Plantinga, Schumann as Critic (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1967), 19, n. 10. However, Wieck recommended finger-stretching exercises for developing finger strength away from the keyboard. See James Parakilas and others, Piano Roles (New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 1999), 141. He also admonished against using the arm to assist the fingers, but these beliefs were undoubtedly influenced by the light Viennese actions of his day. See Wieck, Piano and Song, 5.

31"In ähnlichen Verhältnissen wie er (Mendelssohn) aufgewachsen, von Kindheit an zur Musik bestimmt, würde ich euch samt und sonders überflügelndas fühle ich an der Energie meiner Erfindungen." In Bernhard R. Appel, Robert Schumanns "Album für die Jugend" (Zürich and Mainz: Atlantis, 1998), 17.

32Robert Schumann, On Music and Musicians, ed. Konrad Wolff, trans. Paul Rosenfeld (Berkeley and Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1946), 247.

33Ibid., 68.

34Ibid., 30.

35Ibid., 32.


37Ibid., 37. Plantinga explains that Schumann's main goal in publishing the Neue Zeitschrift was to promote higher standards in piano music and criticism. See Plantinga, Schumann as Critic, 16-40.

38Quoted in Bernhard Appel, "'Actually, Taken Directly from Family Life': Robert Schumann's Album für die Jugend," trans. John Michael Cooper, in Schumann and His World, ed. R. Larry Todd (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1994), 171.

39Isabel Eicker points out that from the 1770s, a market had been growing for all kinds of children's materials—illustrated literature, readers, books of manners, collections of aphorisms or fables, encyclopedias, songbooks, books of poetry, small novels, evening stories, fairy tales, foreign tales, plays, and travelogues. See Isabel Eicker, Kinderstücke: An Kinder adressierte und über das Thema der Kindheit komponierte Alben in der Klavierliteratur des 19. Jahrhunderts (Kassel: Gustav Bosse Verlag, 1995), 46-58.

40For a detailed account of the evolution of op. 68, see Appel, "Actually, Taken Directly from Family Life," 171-202. A facsimile reprint of Marie's album has been published by the Beethoven-Haus. See Robert Schumann, Klavierbüchlein für Marie, ed. Bernhard Appel, Dritte Reihe: Ausgewählte Handschriften in Faksimile-Ausgaben, Band 11 (Bonn: Beethoven-Haus, 1998).

41Appel mentions that in 1838, Schumann set 10 poems from Robert Reinick's illustrated collection of poems, Lieder eines Malers mit Randzeichnungen seiner Freunde. This album might have served as a model for op. 68. Another model may have been Reinick's ABC-Buch für kleine und grosse Kinder, gezeichnet von Dresdner Künstlern, mit Erzählungen und Liedern von R. Reinick und Singweisen von Ferdinand Hiller, published in 1845. See Appel, "Actually, Taken Directly From Family Life," 184.

42Quoted in Newcomb, "Schumann and the Marketplace," 307, note 38.

43There is a discrepancy in the numbering of the pieces of op. 68. Some editions list "Wintertime I and II" as a single piece, meaning that the total number of pieces is given as 42.

44Schumann was so pleased with Richter's design that he asked the artist to draw the title page for his op. 79 Liederalbum für die Jugend and for an edition which combined op. 68 with the three Jugendsonaten of op. 118. See Kurt Hofmann, Die Erstdrücke der Werke von Robert Schumann (Tutzing: Hans Schneider, 1979), xxxii-xxxiii.

45Appel, "Actually, Taken Directly From Family Life," 182.

46Clara Schumann as quoted in Appel, "'Actually, Taken Directly From Family Life,'" 182.

47Schumann as quoted in Appel, "Actually, Taken Directly From Family Life," 182.

48"Little Morning Wanderer" is based upon the folktune, Am Morgen, wenn die Hähne krähn (In the morning, when the cocks crow). See Eicker, Kinderstücke, 154.

49Information about how Clara Schumann taught the pieces of the Album may be found in Eugenie Schumann, Memoirs of Eugenie Schumann, trans. Marie Busch (London: William Heinemann, 1927), 98-101. In the memoirs, the general narratives of the pieces are related without reference to specific measure numbers. However, the timing of the events can easily be deduced by comparing the narratives to harmonic, structural, or textural elements.

50Richter reports that Schumann said the following about the wintertime pieces: "The forest and the ground are completely buried in snow all around; thick snow covers the city streets. Dusk. With soft flakes, it begins to snow. Inside, in the cozy room, the grownups sit next to the brightly lit fireplace and observe the merry round-dances of the children and dolls." See Appel, "Actually, Taken Directly from Family Life," 187-88.

51By this designation, I mean to exclude titled instructive pieces which were actually exercises, etudes, dance pieces, arrangements of opera tunes or other popular music, folk tunes, church music, potpourris, sonatinas, or rondos.

52Rellstab's comments are contained in a review of Schumann's Kinderszenen. See Joachim Draheim, "Schumanns Kinderszenen op. 15Offene Fragen, neue Antworten, unbekannte Materialien," in Schumann Studien, vol. 5 (Zwickau: Rat der Stadt Zwickau, Abteilung Kultur, 1996), 61.

53Schumann, On Music and Musicians, 72-73.

54The complex publication history of the Album is described in detail in Appel, Robert Schumanns Album, 190-92.

55Ibid., 207.

56Quoted in Daverio, Robert Schumann, 406.

57Eicker, Kinderstücke, 91.

58Isabel Eicker, Kinderstücke, 15.

59Also in the same format are title pages for O. Bolck's Tonbilder aus der Kinder- und Jugendwelt, op. 19; C. H. Döring's Jugendbilder, op. 159; F. Friedrich's Kinderträume, op. 266; L. Grünberger's Aus dem Kinderleben, op. 48; E. de Hartog's Aus dem Kinderleben, op. 54; P. Hiller's Aus der Kinderzeit, op. 66; F. Kirchner's Im Kindergarten, op. 76; L. Köhler's Kinder-Melodien und -Poesien, op. 91; L. Köhler's Kinderstücke, op. 156; E. Krause's Album für die Jugend, op. 20; J. Negwer's Jugendfreuden, op. 24; G. Rochlich's Reisebilder aus dem Jugendleben, op. 1; P. Scharwenka's Kinderspiele, op. 64; H. Schönburg's Jugendfreuden, op. 65; R. Schwalm's Aus der Kinderwelt, op. 1; and H. Schwantner's Erinnerungen an die Kinderwelt, op. 25. See Eicker, Kinderstücke, 68, footnote 11.

60Eicker found 17 albums from the nineteenth century with the exact title and 39 with similar titles (Album für Kinder, Jugend-album, and Kinder-album). 3 were named Albumblätter für die Jugend. In addition, there were eleven albums entitled Kinderszenen and one entitled Jugendszenen.

61Günther Müller, "Zu Fragen einer Nachwirkung bei Schumanns op. 15 (Kinderszenen) and op. 68 (Album für die Jugend) in Kompositionen der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts" in Romantikkonferenz 1984, Bd. 2 (Dresden: Schriftenreihe der Hochschule für Musik "Carl Maria von Weber", 1984), 20-24. See also Eicker, Kinderstücke, 409, footnote 16.

62Marie's album even contained a "Dingrätsel," a saying spelled out in musical letters popular during the Biedermeier. It read "Laes daes fade faes das aechde" or "Lass das Fade. Fass' das Aechte (Echte)" (Leave that which is insipid alone; cling to the genuine).

63Eicker, Kinderstücke, 140-141. Composers of children's albums who were students at the Leipzig Conservatory included Edmund Abesser, Johannes Bartz, Friedrich Baumfelder, Albert Biehl, Oskar Bolck, Karl Heinrich Döring, Hermann Durra, Wilhelm Freudenberg, Carl Grammann, Robert von Hornstein, Salomon Jadassohn, Theodor Kirchner, Otto Klauwell, Richard Kleinmichel, Emil Krause, Stephan Krehl, Arnold Krug, Franz Neumann, Carl Reinecke, Hugo Riemann, Henry Schoenefeld, Heinrich Schulz-Beuthen, Paul Schumacher, Camillo Schumann, Robert Schwalm, Heinrich Stiehl, Anton Strelezki, Gustav Adolf Thomas, Moritz Vogel, Nicolai von Wilm, Alexander Winterberger, and Franz Wohlfahrt. Composers who studied at the Dresden Conservatory included Alban Förster and Stephan Krehl. Instructors at the Leipzig Conservatory who composed albums of children's music included Richard Hofmann, Salomon Jadassohn, Julius Klengel, Emil Krause, Stephan Krehl, Max Reger, Carl Reinecke, Julius Rietz. Instructors at the Dresden Conservatory included Carl Heinrich Döring, Theodor Kirchner, Theodor Müller-Reuter, and Wilhelm Rischbieter.

64Günther Müller attempts to trace a stylistic and philosophical lineage from Schumann's Album and his related work, Kinderszenen, through 8 phases of German composers, up to Ernst Hermann Meyer. These composers are Theodor Kullak, Peter Tchaikovsky, Max Reger, Claude Debussy, Joseph Haas, Walter Niemann, Bela Bartok, Max Butting, Paul Dessau, Rudolf Wagner-Regeny, Ernst Hermann Meyer, Kurt Schwaen, Günter Kochan, Siegfried Köhler, and Jürgen Golle. See Günther Müller, "Zu Fragen einer Nachwirkung," 18-28.

65See Appel, Robert Schumanns Album, 211-14.

66Schumann, On Music and Musicians, 63.

67The works listed in Eicker, Kinderstücke, 28, footnotes 42-45, are: L. Köhler, Führer durch den Klavierunterricht. Ein Repetitorium der Klavierliteratur etc.; C. Reinecke, Was sollen wir spielen? Briefe an eine Freundin; A. Ruthardt, editor, J. C. Eschmanns Wegweiser durch die Klavier-Literatur, 6th edition; and H. Riemann, Vergleichende Klavierschule, Teil B: Methode des Klavierunterrichts, fourth edition.

68Other pianists included Edward MacDowell, Horatio Palmer, Frank Porter, and Nathan Richardson.

69For example, the first directors of the first conservatory of music established in the U. S., Oberlin, were graduates of Leipzig. The administrative structure, basic curriculum, and piano and theory methods used at Leipzig were adopted by Oberlin. See Leonard M. Phillips, "The Influence of the Leipzig Conservatory on Music in Nineteenth-Century America," chap. 9 of "The Leipzig Conservatory: 1843-1881" (Ph.D. diss., Indiana University, 1979), 221-39 as cited in Parakilas, "Piano Roles," 155.

70See Brubaker, "History and Critical Analysis," 94-187.

71See Charles Timbrell and Jeffrey Chappel, "Master and Muses," Piano and Keyboard (November/December 1999): 78-94. During this time, Sheryl Mueller also notes that Americans gradually stopped using English terms for note values and finger numbers, adopting German standards. See Sheryl Maureen Peterson Mueller, "Concepts of Nineteenth-Century Piano Pedagogy in the United States" (Ph.D. diss., University of Colorado, 1995), 69.

72Mueller, "Concepts," 202.

73For a survey of methods used in the U. S. in the mid-nineteenth century, see Mueller, "Concepts," 250-390 and Brubaker, "History and Critical Analysis," 167-233. Adams' method quotes from Schumann's "Musical House Rules." The entire list of the "House Rules" also appears in a piano primer by Horatio Palmer from 1885.

74Wieck as quoted in Mueller, "Concepts," 141-42.

75Mathews as quoted in Brubaker, "History and Critical Analysis," 228.

76Mueller and Michael Joseph James give credit to Chopin, Schumann, and Liszt for turning the tide in nineteenth-century piano pedagogy away from its exclusive concentration upon mechanical development and for awakening an interest in development of musical sensitivity. See Mueller, "Concepts," 215, and Michael Joseph James, "The Evolution of Pedagogical Thought in American Piano Teaching of the Twentieth Century" (D.M.A. diss., University of South Carolina, 1994), 16. James Parakilas credits Schumann with leading the resistance to Czerny's technique-centered ideology. See Parakilas, "Piano Roles," 141.

77Brubaker, "History and Critical Analysis," 255.

78Ernest Hutcheson, The Literature of the Piano (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1949), 180-81. The significance of Schumann's works for American pianists at mid-century was further confirmed by James Friskin, who declared that "Schumann's importance for the pianist almost approaches Chopin's." See James Friskin and Irwin Freundlich, Music for the Piano: A Handbook of Concert and Teaching Material from 1580 to 1952 (New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1954), 166.

79John Thompson, John Thompson Piano Course, drawings by Frederick S. Manning, verses by Katherine Faith (Florence, KY: Willis Music, 1937).

80Elizabeth Quaile, A Very First Piano Book, illustrated by Roger Duvoisin (New York: Schirmer, 1939).

81Edna Mae Burnam, Edna Mae Burnam's Step by Step Piano Course (Florence, KY: Willis, 1956).

82James Bastien, Bastien Piano Library, Traditional Primer (San Diego: Kjos, 1981).

83James Bastien, Piano for the Young Beginner (San Diego: Kjos, 1987).

84June Edison, Peanuts Piano Course, Book Three (Lebanon, IN: Houston Publishing, 1989).

85Of the remaining works, 14% were familiar songs, 8% exercises or etudes, 1% arrangements of famous Classical works, 2% dances, and less than 1% miscellaneous genre pieces.

86Anthony Newman's contention that the works of Schumann's late period have "virtually disappeared from the canon" is refuted by Howard Pollack's observation that "hardly a pianist alive has not played 'The Happy Farmer' or some other little piece from The Album for the Young." See Howard Pollack, review of Nineteenth-Century Piano Music, ed. R. Larry Todd, in College Music Symposium 31 (1991): 141-2.

Read 20902 times

Last modified on Tuesday, 25/03/2014

Lora Deahl is Professor of Piano and Keyboard Literature at Texas Tech University. She was designated a Presidential Scholar from her native state of Hawaii under President Lyndon Johnson and was a National Merit Scholar at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. She received graduate degrees with highest honors from Indiana University and the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Deahl has appeared as soloist with the Honolulu, Lubbock, Texas Tech University, and Southwest Symphony Orchestras, and has performed numerous solo, chamber music, and lecture recitals throughout the U.S., Mexico, and Korea. She has presented research papers and recitals at meetings of the American Musicological Society, College Music Society, Music Teachers National Association, Texas Music Teacher Association, Texas Music Educators Association, and the Associated Colleges of the South and at the Van Cliburn International Piano Institute. Her articles on piano literature and pedagogy have appeared in the International Journal of Musicology, Piano and Keyboard, the College Music Symposium, American Music Teacher, and Keyboard Companion. She was named 1995 Outstanding Collegiate Teacher of the Year by the Texas Music Teachers Association. She is also an elected member of Texas Tech University's Teaching Academy, an honorary designation for master teachers of that institution. 

Go to top