Collection 62 - Victor Zuckerkandl index

Identity area

Reference code



Victor Zuckerkandl index


  • 1927-1994 (Creation)

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Extent and medium

Approx. 1740 pages

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Victor Zuckerkandl (1896-1965) was an Austrian musicologist and educator, whose writings touched on music psychology, anthropology, literature, and politics. Born on July 2, 1896, to a family of Viennese-Jewish intellectuals, Zuckerkandl’s early life brought him into contact with many prominent artists of the day, in large part through his aunt Bertha Zuckerkandl’s well-known salon. Zuckerkandl studied with the music theorist Heinrich Schenker in 1914–15, which, along with the interdisciplinary approach fostered by his connection to the fin-de-siècle artistic scene, would form a lasting influence on his musical thought. After music and art history studies at the University of Vienna and frontline service during World War I, Zuckerkandl worked as a conductor in various provincial opera houses and for the Vienna Philharmonic Chorus (1926–1929). In 1927, he received a PhD in musicology from the University of Vienna with a dissertation on Mozart’s techniques of instrumentation, and art history and philosophy as secondary subjects. Having become disillusioned with his career prospects as a conductor, Zuckerkandl worked as a music critic and editor in Berlin from 1927 to 1933. In 1933, he received his first teaching position as a professor of music theory at the Vienna Music Academy, where he taught until 1938. Due to the annexation of Austria, Zuckerkandl left Vienna for Stockholm, eventually emigrating to the USA in 1939.

Zuckerkandl continued to teach once he arrived in America, first at Wellesley College in Massachusetts (1940–42), then at the New School of Social Research in New York (1946–48). His longest and final teaching position was at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland, where he taught music for non-specialists as part of its Great Books program from 1948 to 1964. There, Zuckerkandl joined an interdisciplinary intellectual environment which supported his own interests and modes of thought. Supported by grants from the American Philosophical Society and the Bollingen foundation, Zuckerkandl began to study “the nature, structure and significance of the tonal language” which became the majority of his life’s work. This period resulted in the production of his three major works: Sound and Symbol, volume 1: Music and the External world; The Sense of Music (1959), which was developed as a textbook for his course at St. John’s College; and Sound and Symbol, volume 2: Man the Musician (1973), published posthumously.

In 1960, Zuckerkandl gave a lecture for the first time at the Eranos Conference in Ascona, Switzerland. At Eranos, Zuckerkandl found a circle of like-minded colleagues, with the conference’s themes complementing his own view of music as a connection to the spiritual and esoteric dimensions of human experience. Zuckerkandl continued to attend and deliver lectures at the conference until his death, presenting five lectures from 1960 to 1964, with a sixth planned for 1965. After his retirement in 1964, Zuckerkandl moved to Ascona, where he passed away on April 25, 1965.

Archival history

The materials described are items located in three archives: the Austrian National Library, Vienna, Austria (Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, ONB); the Eranos Foundation, Ascona, Switzerland (Eranos); and Greenfield Library, St. John's College, Annapolis, Maryland, USA (St. John's). The items were digitized by Prof. Daphne Tan (University of Toronto). Descriptions were created based on these digitized materials by Alexis Millares Thomson, Tegan Ridge, and Emma Soldaat, with the supervision of Prof. Tan.

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Items were digitized by Prof. Daphne Tan on the following dates:

  • Greenfield Library, St. John’s College, Annapolis, MD, USA, on July 12–13, 2016 (access granted by Catherine Dixon, Library Director)
  • Austrian National Library, Vienna, Austria, on May 29–31, 2018 (access granted by Andrea Harrandt, Musiksammlung der Österreichische Nationalbibliothek)
  • Eranos Foundation, Ascona, Switzerland, on June 4–5, 2018 (access granted by Sandro Rusconi, member of Eranos Foundation Board).

Content and structure area

Scope and content

This collection contains an indexing of selected unpublished materials related to the music theorist and philosopher Viktor Zuckerkandl (1896–1965). Included are descriptions of digitized correspondence, manuscripts, and miscellanea. The three archives that hold the physical media are cross referenced (ONB, Eranos, St. John’s).

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

The collection consists of 4 series: (A) Correspondence ; (B) Manuscripts ; (C) Readers' reports ; (D) Miscellanea.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Access to digitized materials vary depending on location of physical media. Contact Prof. Daphne Tan for more information.

Conditions governing reproduction

Language of material

  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • German

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Finding aids

Allied materials area

Existence and location of originals

The items in this index are from the Austrian National Library, Vienna, Austria (ONB); Eranos Foundation, Ascona, Switzerland (Eranos); and the Greenfield Library, St. John's College, Annapolis, Maryland, USA (St. John's). The library/archive and folder number of each original document is identified at the item level.

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Related materials within the index are cross-referenced at the item level.

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Notes area


To cite the index:
Tan, Daphne, Alexis Millares Thomson, Tegan Ridge, and Emma Soldaat. The Victor Zuckerkandl Index. University of Toronto Music Library. OTUFM 62.

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