August Halm no longer plays a role today in the consciousness of a younger generation, including the German-speaking world. At best one book title is still present: from two cultures of music. In the musicology of the 1970s and 1980s, however, especially for Carl Dahlhaus, Rudolf Stephan and their environment, Halms ideas on music formed a point of reference. He has also found resonance in the work of two philosophers of the 20th century, Ernst Bloch and Theodor W. Adorno, who give music a central place in their thinking.
Halm was born in 1869 in Großaltdorf near Schwäbisch Hall into a pastor's family. He studied theology in Tübingen, later music in Munich and worked as a music critic and choirmaster in various places in southern Germany. Between 1906 and 1910 and from 1920 until his death in 1929, Halm was a music teacher in the Free School Community of Wickersdorf near Saalfeld in Thuringia.
Until around 1916/1917, Halm saw himself primarily as a composer. His oeuvre includes symphonic works, chamber music, piano music, and drama music. Throughout his life he has written about music. Six books and over 100 essays were published between 1900 and 1929, as well as about 200 music reviews and two instrumental schools, a violin exercise (1916) and the Klavierübung (1918/19).
The interest of later generations in the writings of August Halm was concentrated and limited for a long time to his contributions to the justification and method of musical analysis and to his theory of music. His music pedagogical texts were read exclusively as documents of the reform efforts at the beginning of the 20th century. Only more recently has it been argued that the situational and pragmatically motivated interventions in the music business that Halm made as a music teacher and music critic are an essential part - and not merely a field of application - of his theory of music.
This changed view of Halm's theory of music is responsible for the newly awakened interest in his piano practice, which was publicly reflected in workshops at the Trossingen Musikhochschule in 2004 and 2005. These conferences showed that the Klavierübung is still topical as a contribution to the music pedagogical discussion. The scientific interest in the work was thus complemented by instrumental didactics. In 2005 Halm's piano exercise was presented in Rostock at a seminar of the German section of the European Piano Teachers Association (EPTA).
From the current practical interest in the Klavierübung arose the desire for a reprint.