Photograph of a page from Schenker's diaries

Diary page covering January 27 to February 6, 1907 (OJ 1/6, p. 33)

Schenker's diary starts in 1896, but develops into a personal, day-to-day diary only in 1906. The page shown here is representative of the events, personal encounters, dealings with pupils, things read, and music heard, that he was reporting in his immediately post-Harmonielehre period.

The page exhibits the two styles of handwriting that Schenker employed in tandem. His primary script is the distinctively German handwriting known as "Kurrent" or "Sütterlinschrift"; but for personal names, place names, and foreign loanwords, Schenker switched to "Lateinschrift" ‒ rather like Italic handwriting. There are many examples of the latter on this page, e.g. in line 2: "Emanzipation," and in the first line of the entry for January 30: "Tempi" and "Haydn."

There are some fascinating critiques of concert performances. Comments include performance practice (January 30), comparison of Michael and Joseph Haydn (February 3), and censure of his old friend Eugen d'Albert (February 4). The best known item is his diatribe against Schoenberg's First String Quartet (February 5).

Characteristically for the diary before 1911, the text is heavily revised, with numerous crossings-out, overwritings, and interlinear insertions. On the final page of the diary, dated January 22, 1935, Jeanette Schenker (who took over writing up the diary in 1911 by dictation) remarked: "These 3,970 pages were never intended for publication, but rather as a crutch for the memory, even though much that is contained in them is interesting, instructive, and illuminating." A page like that shown here bears out the second half of this remark, but one might wonder about the first half!

To see the Schenker Documents Online edition of this , go to January 27th, 1907 (and you can click to the next or previous entries).