Siegfried Dehn

Siegfried Wilhelm (of ) Dehn, origin. Samuel Dehn, ( born February 24, 1799 in Altona, † April 12, 1858 in Berlin) was a German music theorist and teacher of counterpoint.


His first musical education owes Dehn Hamburg composer Paul Wineberger. 1819 to 1823 he studied law in Leipzig, where he became in 1820 a member of the Corps Saxonia Leipzig. He also worked as a music critic for the newspaper Leipziger and received further music lessons with the organist Johann Andreas Dröbs. In 1823 he moved to Berlin, but worked up to its bankruptcy in 1830 in the banking house of his father. He then completed his musical education with Bernhard Klein and made music his profession. He was soon in demand as a counterpoint and composition teacher.

His music theoretical approach was based on the close connection between harmony and thorough bass teaching. Mikhail Glinka describes his teaching style as " Dehn recognized the equipment of his pupil with a sharp eye, drops from his lessons on any pedantry and excessive dry instruction and allowed him to write as an exercise for three - and four -part fugues, where he developed his taste and his music theory knowledge arranged. " from 1837 to 1839 he also taught Clara Wieck when staying in Berlin.

Dehn collected private music manuscripts, which he acquired extensive travels. On the recommendation of Alexander von Humboldt and Giacomo Meyerbeer, he was in 1842 curator of the music of the Royal Library, whose construction and expansion had a leading role. He led the organization and cataloging of stocks, taking copies of musical works from other libraries in Prussia and the inclusion of valuable collections and estates in the holdings of the library. So he acquired the collection of Georg Poelchau, including the autograph of the St. Matthew Passion by Bach, Beethoven and 1846 Collection Anton Schindler. The office he held until his death. He was succeeded by Franz Espagne.

He joined as an author produced music theory works, for example, he published in 1840 the theoretical and practical harmony, which is at the same time also to be regarded as demolition of musical history since the time of Gregorian chant and mensural notation. He was one of the first who dealt with the transfer of neumes into modern notation. 1842 to 1848, he served as editor of the magazine Cecilia.

As editor, he focused on works of Orlando di Lasso and Johann Sebastian Bach, which he edited on the basis of the sources. He thus went beyond the current practice as it applied about Friedrich Konrad Griepenkerl. Together with Ignaz Moscheles, Louis Spohr et al Dehn 1850 was instrumental in the founding of the Bach Society. He also worked from 1845 to 1847 as the successor Eduard Grell as a singing teacher at the Royal Cathedral Choir Berlin. He was appointed professor in 1849, in 1850 he was appointed a member of the Berlin Academy. Since 1855 he has taught at the New Academy of Music, which was founded by Theodor Kullak.

Significant students (selection)

  • Albert Becker (1834-1899), composer
  • Martin Blumner (1827-1901), composer
  • Peter Cornelius (1824-1874), poet and composer
  • Immanuel Faisst (1823-1894), composer, choral conductor and professor
  • Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka (1804-1857), composer
  • Carl August Haupt (1810-1891), composer
  • Friedrich Kiel (1821-1885), composer
  • Theodor Kullak (1818-1882), pianist and composer
  • Karl Adolf Lorenz (1837-1923), conductor and composer
  • Anton Grigoryevich Rubinstein (1829-1894), pianist and composer
  • Nikolai Grigoryevich Rubinstein (1835-1881), pianist and composer
  • Louis Schlottmann (1826-1905), musician and composer


  • Theoretical- practical harmony with attached Generalbaßbeispielen, Berlin, 1840
  • Orlandus Lassus Psalmi VII poenitentiales o.J. (Ed.)
  • 12 issues of polyphonic songs of the 16th and 17th century, undated (Ed.)
  • Bach, J. S., [ BWV 211 ] Joh Seb. Bach. Comic Cantatas. No. I. rut with his daughter Liefsgen ( Coffee Cantata :). Edited by S. W. Dehn. Interdum et Socrates equitabat arundine longa, [ca 1830 ], 31 pp. ( Score)
  • Bach, Johann Sebastian (1685-1750), [ BWV 1042 ], Deuxieme Concerto en Mi majeur pour le Violon avec Accompagnament de deux Violons, Viola et Basse ..., publie pour la premiere fois par SW Dehn [ score ]. Leipzig, Peters (v. No. 3888 ) [about 1875 ]. 20 lithographed. S.