Recollections From My Life

Recollections From My Life

An Autobiography by A. B. Marx

Stephen Thomson Moore


Pendragon Press



A translation of the autobiography of A.B. Marz, who named sonata form and codified its elements.
Although A.B. Marx is not often acknowledged as such, he remains Western music's single most influential theorist, as the person who gave Sonata Form its name and codified its elements. Above a certain level of proficiency, there is not a single musician in the Western Classical tradition who does not know Sonata Form: they know Marx's legacy, if not his name.

Further awareness of Marx as a man is especially important. The naming of Sonata form, and the discussion of its elements, was invested with convictions about music that Marx was among the very first to hold, and which we continue to value: for instance, that a composer's formal choices are not made just by convention, but with intention, and that the way in which a work unfolds is itself meaningful; or that music of any era reflects the aesthetic priorities of its age. Those convictions, in turn, spring from Marx's vigorous intellectual engagement with the world around him, its thinkers, its writers, and its politics. This translation provides a unique opportunity to read Marx in his own words.

His Recollections from My Life were published in 1865, Marx's last book to appear during his lifetime, and have not been republished either in the German original, nor in any translation. Our translation with annotation and commentary will make available to English-readers this important view of music in Germany during the time of Beethoven, Mendelssohn and other familiar names from the concert hall.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781576472903), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.


274 pages
9x6 in
Lives in Music
Paperback, 9781576472491, April 2017
eBook, 9781576472903, April 2017
Pendragon Press
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Remembered (if at all) as a music theorist who codified sonata form, the composer and vocal coach Adolf Bernhard Marx (1795-1866) was an intriguing failure. OPERA NOW MAGAZINE

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