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German music theorist, teacher, and composer, pupil of Schenker's.

  Self-caricature by Felix-Eberhard von Cube.
F.-E. von Cube, self-caricature, 1931 (OJ 9/34, [27])

Son of the architect and archaeologist Gustav von Cube, Felix-Eberhard grew up in Munich and studied music privately with Otto Vrieslander, a family friend who was for a time the private librarian to the playwright Carl Sternheim, Cube's maternal uncle. On Vrieslander's recommendation, Cube went to Vienna in late 1923 to study with Schenker.

The first lesson recorded in Schenker's lessonbooks (OC 3/3) is dated January 23, 1924, the last was June 4, 1926, with one postal lesson on January 27, 1927. Cube's instruction began with the final section of Schenker's Kontrapunkt 2 , continuing with a year of thoroughbass, fugal technique, analytical studies (mostly keyboard repertory), source studies, and work on Cube's own compositions.

After a period of five years' teaching at the Rheinisches Musikseminar, a provincial conservatory in Duisburg in Germany's industrial area, he was recommended by Schenker to help Moriz Violin set up a Schenker-Institut in Hamburg in 1931. The Institute had a shaky existence for about two years, closed down in 1934 and reopened after the War as the Heinrich-Schenker-Akademie, though with only modest success, continuing for another decade and a half.

Unswervingly loyal to Schenker and his cause, Cube attempted to put his teacher's theories into a useful pedagogical form for German-speaking musicians, in a Lehrbuch der musikalischen Kunstgesetze, a typewritten treatise first conceived around 1934 but not finished until 1953 (and periodically augmented thereafter with further graphic analyses); an English version of this appeared in 1987 as The Book of the Musical Artwork. A second book, Todeskampf oder Wiederauferstehung der Deutschen Musik (Mortal Struggle, or the New Resurrection of German Music), is essentially a diatribe against modernism, but includes anecdotal information about his upbringing, his studies with Schenker, and his career as a teacher in Duisburg and Hamburg. Cube also wrote a quantity of chamber music, songs, and concertos, some of which were performed by North German Radio.

Correspondence with Schenker

Cube and Schenker corresponded extensively between 1924 and 1934: OJ 9/34 (Cube to Schenker: 1925-34: 42 items) and letters in family possession: vC (Schenker to Cube: 1924-34: 51 items); correspondence between Schenker and Violin comprise OJ 70/2 (1 item) and 70/11 (1931: 3 items).

See also:

  • Eybl, Martin & Fink-Mennel, Evelyn, eds, Schenker-Traditionen (Vienna: Bohlau, 2006), pp. 156, 240-41

Contributor:

  • William Drabkin

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Correspondence

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