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Karl Wilson Gehrkens

music educator , lexicographer.

Karl Wilson Gehrkens, music educator, lexicographer. Member Music Educators National Conference (past president), Music Teachers National Association (past president).


Gehrkens, Karl Wilson was born on April 19, 1882 in Kelleys Island, Ohio, United States. Son of Henry F. and Elizabeth (Ricker) Gehrkens.


Bachelor of Arts, Oberlin College, 1905, A.M., 1912, also student Oberlin Conservatory of Music. Post-graduate work Columbia, winter and spring 1917. Doctor of Music, Illinois Wesleyan University and Capital U., 1939.


Emeritus, since 1942. Visiting professor University of California at Los Angeles, 1944-1945. Adviser music curriculum Pepperdine College (Los Angeles), also Roosevelt U. (Chicago), 1948-1951.

Visiting professor, summers, numerous colls. universities, 1917-1945. Music Education Library, Oberlin College, renamed Gehrkens Music Education Library, 1952.


  • Author: Music Notation and Terminology, 1914. Essentials in Conducting, 1919. An Introduction to School Music Teaching, 1919.

    Fundamentals of Music, 1924. Handbook of Musical Terms, 1927. Twenty Lessons in Conducting, 1930.

    Universal Series (14 books for teachers and pupils) (with Walter Damrosch and George Gartlan), 1923-1936. Music in the Grade Schools, 1934. Music in the Junior High School, 1936.

    The Teaching and Administration of Music in the High School (with P. W. Dykema), 1941. Editor: School Music, 1928-1934. Editor mus. terms Webster’s New International Dictionary, 2d edition., 1936, Proceedings of Music Teachers National Association, 1937-1939.

    Editorial associate Etude—The Music Magazine, 1934-1955, Music Educators Journal, 1923-1956. Editorial writer Ednl. Music Magazine, 1942-1954.

    Contributor educational publications.


Member Music Educators National Conference (past president), Music Teachers National Association (past president).


Married Ruth Grey Bedford, August 16, 1905. Children: Virginia E., Adeline B. With Oberlin College.

Henry F. Gehrkens

Elizabeth (Ricker) Gehrkens

Ruth Grey Bedford

Virginia E. Gehrkens

Adeline B. With Oberlin College Gehrkens