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Leo Treitler Edit Profile

educator , musicologist

Leo Treitler, musicologist, educator. Fellow American Council Learned Societies, 1974, National Endowment of the Humanities, 1983; recipient Research prize Humbolt Foundation, 1982. Fellow American Academy Arts and Sciences; member American Musicol. Society, International Musicol. Society.


Treitler, Leo was born on January 26, 1931 in Dortmund, Federal Republic Germany. Came to the United States, 1938. Son of Ben and Regina (Knoll) Treitler.


Bachelor, University of Chicago, 1950; Master of Arts, University of Chicago, 1957; Master of Fine Arts, Princeton University, 1960; Doctor of Philosophy, Princeton University, 1966.


From 1961 to 1965 he taught at the University of Chicago, and following this at Brandeis University and SUNY Stony Brook. Treitler's major work is in Medieval and Renaissance music, particularly in Gregorian chant and the earliest polyphony. He also published a series of essays exploring historiography in music history, which were collected, with other works on music history and theory, in He revised Oliver Strunk's Source Readings in Music History in 1998.

On the rise of Western plainchant and notation Homer and Gregory: The Transmission of Epic Poetry and Plainchant. The Musical Quarterly Vol. 60, No. 3 (Jul, 1974), pp.

333-372 "Centonate" Chant: "Übles Flickwerk" or "E pluribus unus?". Journal of the American Musicological Society Vol. 28, No. 1 (Spring, 1975), pp.

1-23 The Early History of Music Writing in the West. Journal of the American Musicological Society Vol. 35, No. 2 (Summer, 1982), pp.

237-279 Reading and Singing: On the Genesis of Occidental Music-Writing. Early Music History Vol. 4 (1984), pp. 135-208 The "Unwritten" and "Written Transmission" of Medieval Chant and the Start-Up of Musical Notation.

The Journal of Musicology Vol. 10, No. 2 (Spring, 1992), pp. 131-191 On historiography and musical analysis The Present as History.

Perspectives of New Music Vol. 7, No. 2 (Spring, 1969), pp. 1-58 History, Criticism, and Beethoven's Ninth Symphony.

19th-Century Music Vol. 3, No. 3 (Mar, 1980), pp. 193-210 "To Worship That Celestial Sound": Motives for Analysis.

The Journal of Musicology Vol. 1, No. 2 (Apr, 1982), pp.


  • Treitler studied at the University of Chicago under Grosvenor Cooper, achieving the BA in 1950 and the MA in 1957.



Fellow American Academy Arts and Sciences. Member American Musicol. Society, International Musicol.


Married Ruth Elizabeth Wijkman, September 12, 1956 (divorced November 1984). Children: Christopher, Inga, Alexander, Max.

Ben Treitler

Regina (Knoll) Treitler

Ruth Elizabeth Wijkman

Christopher Treitler

Inga Treitler

Max Treitler

Alexander Treitler