Gertrud Grunow

Gertrud Grunow / Photo: unknown, 1917

Gertrud Grunow (1870 – 1944) was a German musician and educationalist who formulated theories on the relationships between sound, colour and movement and was a specialist in vocal pedagogy. She taught courses in the “theory of harmonisation” at the Bauhaus in Weimar, where she was the school’s first woman teacher and the only woman teacher during the school’s Weimar years.

Grunow believed that people’s ability to express themselves depends on their personal sense of colour, sound and form. Her courses involved the sensitisation of all the sensory organs, mental training and individual psychological sessions.

She developed a ‘twelve-tone circle of colour’ which was analogous with the twelve-tone music of the Austrian composer Arnold Schönberg (1874-1951).

Excerpt from Wikipedia

Born in Berlin in 1870, Grunow already had many years of teaching experience when she joined the Bauhaus in 1919. In fact, she was already teaching aspiring singers and musicians in Düsseldorf as early as the late 1890s. But following her exposure in 1908 to a course on rhythmic gymnastics (“Eurhythmics”) led by the Swiss composer, musician and music pedagogue Émile Jaques-Dalcroze, she began to develop the pedagogical ideas which later formed the basis for her teaching at the Bauhaus. The key innovation of Delacroze’s music pedagogy was having students express music through body movements, informed by his observation that most of them were physically and mentally unbalanced, with their musical expressiveness suffering as a result. Dalcroze assumed that movement had an effect on musical consciousness. Therefore he conceived a rhythmic-gymnastic training intended to “control … physical expression.”

Excerpt from “Gertrud Grunow’s Theory of Harmonization” by Linn Burchert

See also Gertrud Grunow Webseite and Documentary

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