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The Nikhil Hogan Show

The #1 music interview podcast, hosted by Nikhil Hogan, dedicated to serious discussions of music with masters on the study of composition and improvisation. Past guests have included Grammy, Emmy, Academy, Tony, CMA, and many other award-winning artists.

Jun 29, 2020

My guest today is the great Professor Ludwig Holtmeier, who is a music theorist, musicologist, pianist and the president of the Hochschule für Musik Freiburg!


0:23 What’s your musical background?
3:37 Did you have a typical classical training or did you ever improvise as a young musician?
4:18 Do you have perfect or absolute pitch?
4:29 Did you learn music theory and counterpoint as a young musician?
4:59 Moving to Freiburg
7:37 When did you discover partimento?
10:10 How did you break away from Riemannian theory?
12:36 How did you find these older methods?
13:24 Were a lot of treatises lost during WWII?
14:02 What was inside that library of note?
14:45 Continuing the story of how he discovered Fenaroli
15:50 Was it the Fenaroli Regole?
16:10 What date was that manuscript of Fenaroli?
17:12 Why did no one want to teach music theory at the piano at the University of Freiburg?
18:10 How did you fill in the gaps of information in Fenaroli’s regole?
20:57 Is Rameau one of the most misunderstood music theorists?
22:46 What are people getting wrong about Rameau?
27:01 How do you integrate partimento theory with the modern curriculum?
28:08 Is it based around Fenaroli or other teachers as well?
28:43 Do most students come to you not knowing anything about partimento?
29:21 What are some of the best exercises you use?
31:50 Are there theories that you exclude at the University?
33:31 How do you balance partimento with other theories in analysis?
34:42 How would you analyze the music of Wagner?
37:08 What do you mean by arabic numerals?
37:52 What is your perspective on Riemann?
43:22 How about Heinrich Schenker?
45:18 What’s the best way to learn counterpoint?
47:41 Should Harmony be separated from counterpoint? Should they be 2 separate subjects?
48:50 Do you have a preference for Fixed Do, Moveable Do or Hexachordal Solfeggio?
50:16 On Music Schema
53:46 What is the importance of David Heinichen in music theory in the 18th century?
54:46 Did he codify the methods of the Italians?
55:34 Did Bach use Heinichen’s treatise?
57:08 The intriguing unity of the methods of the 18th century
1:00:25 Can partimento and 18th century pedagogy help us understand newer composers like Rachmaninoff, Debussy and Ravel?
1:01:40 What is your advice for parents who will start music lessons for their children?
1:02:49 How can people find you and your work?
1:03:45 Wrapping Up