Oskar Fleischer

Commemorative plaque at Fleischer's birthplace in Zörbig, Radegaster Straße 4

Oskar Fleischer (2 November 1856 – 8 February 1933) was a German musicologist.


Born in Zörbig Anhalt-Bitterfeld, after attending the Latin secondary school at the Francke Foundations in Halle, Fleischer studied ancient and modern languages, history of literature and philosophy at the Martin Luther University of Halle-Wittenberg from 1882 to 1886 and was promoted to Dr. phil. He then completed a four-year degree in musicology (with Philipp Spitta) in Berlin. In 1888, he took over the management of the "Royal Collection of Ancient Musical Instruments" at the Berlin University of the Arts, whose holdings he was able to expand considerably with the acquisition of Snoeck's private collection. From 1892, he worked as a "Privatdozent", and from 1895 (until 1925) as an associate professor of musicology at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Among his best-known students were the Mozart scholar Hermann Abert, Komitas Vardapet and his successor Curt Sachs.

In 1899, he was a co-founder of the International Music Society and editor of its publication organs (Sammelbände der Internationalen Musikgesellschaft, Zeitschrift der Internationalen Musikgesellschaft). His main academic field was not so much the study of musical instruments but rather the study of medieval and ancient Greek chant scales (neume genesis). In the last years of his life, he became an outsider with his attempt to reconstruct a "Germanic neume script" and published in the völkisch-national journal Die Sonne. He was a "Geheimrat" (Privy Councillor).

Fleischer died in Berlin aged 76. After being reburied, he found his final resting place at the Stahnsdorf South-Western Cemetery near Berlin.



  1. ^ Oskar Fleisher on University of Rochester
  2. ^ Die Reste der altgriechischen Tonkunst on WorldCat

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