Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung

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Title page of the first volume, showing a portrait of J. S. Bach.

The Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung (General music journal) was a German-language periodical published in the 19th century. Comini (2008) has called it "the foremost German-language musical periodical of its time".[1] The journal reviewed musical events taking place in many countries, focusing on the German-speaking nations, but also covering France, Italy, Russia, Britain, and even occasionally America.[2]

Its impartiality and adherence to basic principles of credibility and discretion regarding the personal position of those reviewed, assured and established itself in a high position as a journal in the musical German society of the time, exercising great influence on the period.


The journal appeared in two series: a weekly magazine published between 1798 and 1848, and a revived version which lasted from 1866 to 1882.[3] The publisher was Breitkopf & Härtel in Leipzig for the first period of publication and for the first three years of the second period; for the remainder of the journal's history it was published by J. Reiter-Biedermann.[3] For a time during the second era it went by the title Leipziger Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung ("AmZ of Leipzig").

Much important material appeared in the journal, including the serialized first version of Georg August Griesinger's biography of Joseph Haydn, and articles by scholar Gustav Nottebohm and critic Eduard Hanslick.[3] The journal employed the famous critic E. T. A. Hoffmann and published his influential review of Beethoven's Fifth Symphony. Both Robert Schumann and Franz Liszt published in the journal. The Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung to this day continues to be an essential source for scholars studying the music and musical culture of its time.

Somewhat less to its credit, the journal also published the so-called "Rochlitz anecdotes," a series of vignettes about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart written by the first editor. Today these anecdotes are widely considered by scholars to be heavily contaminated by material coming entirely from Rochlitz's own imagination; for discussion, see Biographies of Mozart and Mozart's compositional method.


The editors of the Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung during its first 50-year period were:


The Répertoire International de la Presse Musicale (RIPM) has published volumes on both series:

  • Ole Hass, Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung 1798–1848. 14 vols. Répertoire International de la Presse Musicale (Baltimore, Maryland: RIPM, 2009). Introduction: [1]
  • Karl Kügle, Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung 1863–1882. 7 vols. Répertoire International de la Presse Musicale (Ann Arbor, Michigan: UMI, 1995. Introduction: [2]

The Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung is not to be confused with the Berliner allgemeine musikalische Zeitung, a different musical journal which was published in Berlin, or with the Wiener allgemeine musikalische Zeitung which was published in Vienna.


  1. ^ Comini (2008, 96)
  2. ^ Barbour (1948, 326)
  3. ^ a b c Allgemeine musikalische Zeitung: prepared by Karl Kügle
  4. ^ Source for this paragraph: Barbour (1948, 325–326)


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