Jerome Kohl

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Jerome Kohl
Jerome Joseph Kohl

(1946-11-27)November 27, 1946
DiedAugust 4, 2020(2020-08-04) (aged 73)
Seattle, Washington, U.S.
  • Music theorist
  • Journal editor
  • Music pedagogue
Known forResearch on Karlheinz Stockhausen

Jerome Joseph Kohl (November 27, 1946 – August 4, 2020) [1] was an American musicologist, academic journal editor, and recorder teacher. A music theorist at the University of Washington, he became recognized internationally as an authority on the music of Karlheinz Stockhausen.


Life and work

Kohl grew up in Lincoln, Nebraska, with three siblings. [2] During high school and college, he played clarinet in the local symphony orchestra. He received his undergraduate, and in 1971, his master's degree in music [2] from the University of Nebraska. [3] :242 Drafted into the army, he played in an army band during the Vietnam War. [2] Afterwards, he started his doctoral studies in music theory at the University of Washington in Seattle. [2] In the 1970s, Kohl joined the Seattle Recorder Society, attending and running classes at their meetings, as well as teaching privately. [4] In 1976, Kohl co-founded and became the board president of the Early Music Guild (EMG, now called Early Music Seattle) in Seattle, attracting international players to perform in the city. The EMG held a monthly concert by local players, and in 1980, Kohl played a concert with music from the 14th century to modern times. He continued to teach recorder for the Society for decades. [2] [4]

Denny Hall, home of the Classics Department at the University of Washington DennyHall.jpg
Denny Hall, home of the Classics Department at the University of Washington

Kohl concluded his studies in 1981 with his PhD thesis, [2] titled "Serial and Non-Serial Techniques in the Music of Karlheinz Stockhausen from 1962–1968". [5] He was managing editor of the journal Perspectives of New Music from 1985 to 1999. [3] Between 2005 and 2018 he was Secretary of the Department of Classics at the University of Washington. In 2018, Kohl became Administrative Assistant at the university's Department of Political Science. [2]

His research focus was contemporary classical music. He became recognized as a world expert on the works of Karlheinz Stockhausen, [2] [3] taking part in international conferences on his music. [2] [6] He collaborated with Stockhausen, traveling to Europe annually, and co-authored books with him. [4]

Kohl died in Seattle from a sudden heart attack at the age of 73. [3] His death was commemorated by a memorial tribute in Perspectives of New Music, which described his 2017 book on Stockhausen's Zeitmaße as "an astounding masterpiece". [3]


Related Research Articles

Karlheinz Stockhausen German composer

Karlheinz Stockhausen was a German composer, widely acknowledged by critics as one of the most important but also controversial composers of the 20th and early 21st centuries. He is known for his groundbreaking work in electronic music, for introducing controlled chance into serial composition, and for musical spatialization.

In music, serialism is a method of composition using series of pitches, rhythms, dynamics, timbres or other musical elements. Serialism began primarily with Arnold Schoenberg's twelve-tone technique, though some of his contemporaries were also working to establish serialism as a form of post-tonal thinking. Twelve-tone technique orders the twelve notes of the chromatic scale, forming a row or series and providing a unifying basis for a composition's melody, harmony, structural progressions, and variations. Other types of serialism also work with sets, collections of objects, but not necessarily with fixed-order series, and extend the technique to other musical dimensions, such as duration, dynamics, and timbre.

Tape loop

In music, tape loops are loops of magnetic tape used to create repetitive, rhythmic musical patterns or dense layers of sound when played on a tape recorder. Originating in the 1940s with the work of Pierre Schaeffer, they were used among contemporary composers of 1950s and 1960s, such as Éliane Radigue, Steve Reich, Terry Riley, and Karlheinz Stockhausen, who used them to create phase patterns, rhythms, textures, and timbres. Popular music authors of 1960s and 1970s, particularly in psychedelic, progressive and ambient genres, used tape loops to accompany their music with innovative sound effects. In the 1980s, analog audio and tape loops with it gave way to digital audio and application of computers to generate and process sound.

Process music

Process music is music that arises from a process. It may make that process audible to the listener, or the process may be concealed.

<i>Gesang der Jünglinge</i>

Gesang der Jünglinge is an electronic music work by Karlheinz Stockhausen. It was realized in 1955–56 at the Westdeutscher Rundfunk studio in Cologne and is Work Number 8 in the composer's catalog of works. The vocal parts were supplied by 12-year-old Josef Protschka. It is exactly 13 minutes, 14 seconds long.

Kontra-Punkte is a composition for ten instruments by Karlheinz Stockhausen which resolves contrasts among six instrumental timbres, as well as extremes of note values and dynamic levels, into a homogeneous ending texture. Stockhausen described it: "Counter-Points: a series of the most concealed and also the most conspicuous transformations and renewals—with no predictable end. The same thing is never heard twice. Yet there is a distinct feeling of never falling out of an unmistakable construction of the utmost homogeneity. An underlying force that holds things together—related proportions: a structure. Not the same Gestalten in a changing light. But rather this: various Gestalten in the same light, that permeates everything".

Kreuzspiel is a composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen written for oboe, bass clarinet, piano and four percussionists in 1951. It is assigned the number 1/7 in the composer's catalogue of works.

Formula composition is a serially derived technique encountered principally in the music of Karlheinz Stockhausen, involving the projection, expansion, and Ausmultiplikation of either a single melody-formula, or a two- or three-voice contrapuntal construction.

In music, moment form is defined as "a mosaic of moments", and, in turn, a moment is defined as a "self-contained (quasi-)independent section, set off from other sections by discontinuities".

Gruppen for three orchestras (1955–57) is amongst the best-known compositions of German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, and is Work Number 6 in the composer's catalog of works. Gruppen is "a landmark in 20th-century music. .. probably the first work of the post-war generation of composers in which technique and imagination combine on the highest level to produce an undisputable masterpiece".


Telemusik is an electronic composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen, and is number 20 in his catalog of works.


Kurzwellen, for six players with shortwave radio receivers and live electronics, is a composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen, written in 1968. It is Number 25 in the catalog of the composer’s works.

<i>Spiral</i> (Stockhausen)

Spiral, for a soloist with a shortwave receiver, is a composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen, written in 1968. It is Number 27 in the catalogue of the composer's works.


Zeitmaße is a chamber-music work for five woodwinds composed in 1955–1956 by German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen; it is Number 5 in the composer's catalog. It is the first of three wind quintets written by Stockhausen, followed by Adieu für Wolfgang Sebastian Meyer (1966) and the Rotary Wind Quintet (1997), but is scored with cor anglais instead of the usual French horn of the standard quintet. Its title refers to the different ways that musical time is treated in the composition.

Prozession (Procession), for tamtam, viola, electronium, piano, microphones, filters, and potentiometers, is a composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen, written in 1967. It is Number 23 in the catalogue of the composer’s works.

<i>Pole</i> (Stockhausen)

Pole (Poles), for two performers with shortwave radio receivers and a sound projectionist, is a composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen, written in 1970. It is Number 30 in the catalogue of the composer's works.

Unsichtbare Chöre is an eight-channel electronic-music composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen. A component part of the opera Donnerstag aus Licht, it may also be performed as an independent composition, in which form it is designated "ex 49" in the composer's catalog of works.

<i>Expo</i> (Stockhausen)

Expo, for three performers with shortwave radio receivers and a sound projectionist, is a composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen, written in 1969–70. It is Number 31 in the catalogue of the composer's works.

<i>Für kommende Zeiten</i>

Für kommende Zeiten is a collection of seventeen text compositions by Karlheinz Stockhausen, composed between August 1968 and July 1970. It is a successor to the similar collection titled Aus den sieben Tagen, written in 1968. These compositions are characterized as "Intuitive music"—music produced primarily from the intuition rather than the intellect of the performer(s). It is work number 33 in Stockhausen's catalog of works, and the collection is dedicated to the composer's son Markus.


  1. "King County deaths (08/11/2020)". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. August 11, 2020. Retrieved January 29, 2021.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 "Coda : Jerome Kohl". University of Washington Department of Political Science. August 27, 2020. Retrieved September 8, 2020.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Rahn, John (Winter 2020). "In Memoriam / Jerome Kohl". Perspectives of New Music . 58 (1): 241–244. doi:10.1353/pnm.2020.0007. JSTOR   10.7757/persnewmusi.58.1.0241.
  4. 1 2 3 Seibert, Peter (September 2020). "Reflections on Jerry Kohl" (PDF). Recorder Notes. Seattle Recorder Society: 4–5.
  5. Kohl 1981.
  6. "International Workshop "The Musical Legacy of Karlheinz Stockhausen: Looking Back and Forward"". University of Göttingen (in German). August 2011. Retrieved January 13, 2021.