Studies in the Arts (SINTA)

Dissertation of Michelle Ziegler

"Simple Rectangular Geometry"? The Function of Graphic Notations in the Piano Work of Hermann Meier (1906-2002)

Recently pusblished: Heidy Zimmermann, Michelle Ziegler & Roman Brotbeck (eds.), Mondrian-Musik – Die graphischen Welten des Komponisten Hermann Meier. Chronos Verlag, Zürich 2017

Atonal and dodecaphonic composition techniques were not wide spread and well received in Switzerland in the 1950ies and 1960ies. The work of the Solothurn composer Hermann Meier (1906-2002) was written in isolation and without much attention, for isolated attempts to present his work in public failed. Consequently his compositions were unique in their approach and style. Meier developed the twelvetone technique further, he found his own ways of working with clusters and with reduced block-like fields. From the mid-fifties Meier worked with large format graphic compositional plans, the so-called «Mondriane», which lead to monumental compositions with various sound layers. The project «Komponieren in Punkten, Strichen und Flächen» focuses on Meiers piano works, which reflect the radical steps of Meiers individual style; it analyses the functions of the graphic plans, the relationship between image and sound and the consequences of the insular existence of the composer.

Michelle Ziegler has had several pieces of work published, mostly relating to twentieth century music.


Prof. Dr. Anselm Gerhard, Universität Bern, Director of the Institute of Musicology, University of Bern
Dr. Roman Brotbeck, Bern University of the Arts HKB: Dept. of Research, Music