Alois Hába

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Alois Hába

Alois Hába (21 June 1893 – 18 November 1973) was a Czech composer, musical theorist, and teacher. He is primarily known for his microtonal compositions, especially using the quarter tone scale, though he used others such as sixth-tones (for example, his fifth quartet), fifth-tones (sixteenth quartet), and twelfth-tones.


Hába was born at Vizovice, Moravia, into a musical family; his brother Karel Hába was a composer, and their father was a folk musician. He began to compose during his studies in Kroměříž (1908–12). He was a student of composer Vítězslav Novák in 1914–15 at the Prague Conservatory, and graduated with his Sonata for Violin and Piano. Hába also studied at the Imperial Academy of Music and the Performing Arts in Vienna (1918–20), where his teachers included Richard Stöhr, and in Berlin (1920–22). In 1920, as a student of Franz Schreker, he composed his first quarter-tone work—his String Quartet No. 2. He was supported by Josef Suk and with his help founded a microtonal department of teaching and research at the Prague Conservatory in 1924. In 1923–48 he worked first as an instructor, later (since 1936) as professor at the Prague Conservatory. During World War II, Hába was endangered by Nazis, because he tried to help his Jewish pupils.[1] After the war he lived in peace in the Socialist Republic of Czechoslovakia. He died in Prague in 1973.

He also commissioned quarter- and sixth-tone versions of instruments such as trumpets, clarinets and pianos.

His best-known work is the opera Mother, which received its premiere at the Gärtnerplatztheater in Munich, Germany in May 1931.


  1. ^ Vysloužil, Jiří (2001). Hudební slovník pro každého II, p.169. Vizovice: Lípa. ISBN 80-86093-23-9.

Further reading[edit]

  • Lubomír Spurný and Jiří Vysloužil: Alois Hába: A Catalogue of the Music and Writings. Prague: Koniasch Latin Press, 2010. ISBN 978-80-86791-78-4.
  • Vlasta Reittererová and Lubomír Spurný: Alois Hába (1893–1973): mezi tradicí a inovací. Prague: Koniasch Latin Press, 2014. ISBN 978-80-87773-08-6.

External links[edit]