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Heinrich Treiber archive

Heinrich Treiber was born on 22 February 1899 in Eppelheim near Heidelberg (Germany). He studied violin, piano and composition in Heidelberg, Stuttgart and Erfurt. First he worked as a violinist in different orchestras and toured as a soloist with his "Treibergeige".  Then Heinrich Treiber became conductor of the "Kurorchester" of Bad Wildungen, Bad Pyrmont and Bad Tölz. After this conducting intermezzo he returned to the violin and took the position of the concertmaster first at the symphony orchestra in Aachen, later in Eisenach, a position he held for many years.


Heinrich Treiber, who also used the pseudonym "Treiber von der Treib", invented a 7-string-violin in the 1920s, the so called "Treibergeige" and composed music for this instrument. He was quite famous for this invention and for playing on the instrument and was a special guest to many revues in the late 1920s and 1930s. Later he constructed a similar 7-string viola. Beside the compositions for his invented instruments Heinrich Treiber also composed serious music for orchestra and chamber music as well as songs and works for light orchestra.

Around 1950 Heinrich Treiber moved back to native soil and lived first in Ilvesheim, later in Rödersheim. He died in Rödersheim on 7 February 1977.

Treibergeige & Polyphonbogen

Heinrich Treiber invented a 7-string violin at the time around 1920. He filed a patent for this violin on 19.11.1922 at the Deutsches Reichspatentamt (file number   T 27135) and was granted a patent on 20 July 1923 (Deutsches Reichspatent D.R.P 378582).


This patent was granted for any string instrument, on which the numerous strings are arranged on the bridge in such a way that a bow with doubled hair can play these strings.

For the 7-string violin by Heinrich Treiber this means there are the same strings like on the normal violin (tuned in fifths), but a, e and d come twice. Three of these 7 strings are arranged on a slightly higher bridge. The special bow has a hair devider at the tip and frog that holds the two hanks of hair parallel. Before playing the violinist has to feed the lower hank of hairs of the bow between the normal and higher strings of the violin. After this preparation it is possible to play 3 strings with the lower hank of hair and 2 strings with the upper hank of hair at the same time, making it a maximum of 5 strings played simultaneously.


Here is the sketch of the tip and frog of the special bow:

Here is the sketch of the whole violin and on the upper right side the cross section of the violin with the bridge, the three elevated strings in the middle (numbered e, f, g) and the illustration how the two hanks of hair from the bow can play 5 strings at a time:

If you are interested in the whole patent (in German!), you can download it here:

PDF-Dokument [109.4 KB]


Heinrich Treiber also composed music for this special violin. For a complete listing please scroll down, but to get an impression about the possibilities of this "Treibergeige" you can find below the score of the "Prelude for 7-string Treibergeige op.2" from 1925 by Heinrich Treiber. The sound file is a computer realisation of the Prelude:

PDF-Dokument [2.2 MB]




Over the years Heinrich Treiber von der Treib had to notice that his 7-string violin remained unpopular among both violinists and composers. The reason for this ignorance was the immense difficulty to perform on this instrument and no other violinist took the time and efforts to master it. So Heinrich Treiber searched for other, easier ways to create a similar sound and finally in 1966 patented the so-called "Polyphonbogen".

This kind of bow was invented for the normal 4-string violin, looked similar to a normal violin bow at a first glance and could be used like a normal bow. But in addition to a normal bow the tension of the hair in this Polyphonbogen could be activated or deactived by a small spring. When the violinist pressed the spring the tension of the hair was reduced and it was possible to play all four strings at a time. Below is a demonstration by Heinrich Treiber von der Treib with his "Polyphonbogen". Left side: deactived spring and normal hair tension; right side: activated spring and reduced hair tension:


The following manuscripts are part of my Heinrich Treiber archive. I typeset a few of these manuscripts in a notation program. You can find the pdf-scores of these works at the very end of the site:

1) orchestra music

year composition
1921 Der Totentanz von Goethe, for orchestra op.3
1922 Am Meer, for orchestra op.14
1922 Erinnerung an Tegernsee, for orchestra
1923 3 nordische Tänze, for orchestra
1923 Walzer „Lieb und Leben“, for orchestra op.25
1925 Ballade vom verlassenen Mägdelein, for ensemble op.12
1926 Polarlicht, for orchestra op.74
1926 Festmarsch „Alt-Eisenach“, for orchestra
1926 Idyll, for orchestra
1928 Heil Oldesloe!, for orchestra op.92
1928 An Schleswig-Holstein, for orchestra op.95
1928 Auf Wiedersehn in Oldesloe, for orchestra op.96
1928 Revue-Ouvertüre, for orchestra op.100
1928 Hanseaten-Marsch, for orchestra
1931 Marsch „Adlerflug“, for brass band
1939 Revue „Flammende Herzen“, for orchestra
1941 Frühlingslied, for orchestra
1942 In der Wüste, for orchestra
1946 Semlianka, for brass band
1946 Thüringer Festmusik, for orchestra
? Der letzte Gang, for orchestra
? Der Stahlhelm-Marsch, for orchestra

2) chamber music

year composition
1922 Hymne „Gelobt sei uns dieser Tag“, for alto, organ, 2 clarinets and strings op.5

4 kleine Studien, for viola (or cello) and piano op.11

1923 Gavotte, for violin (or cello) and piano op.17a
1923 Gavotte, for violin op.17b
1924 An das Schicksal, for violin, viola and piano op.28
1924 Hoffnung (Melancholie), for violin and piano op.31
1925 Albumblatt, for violin and piano
1926 Fantasy on „O sole mio“, for violin, cello and piano op.75
1926 Lullabij, for violin and piano op.77
1926 Prelude for violin and piano
1927 Geburtstagsständchen, for cello and piano op.85
1927 Flirt, for piano
1930 Abendlied, for violin and piano op.101
1930 Ungarisches Lied, for violin and piano op.101
1931 Coolsingel, for zither and violin
1931 Kleine Hausmusik, for violin and piano
1931 Romanze, for violin and piano
1931 Walzer „Man braucht nur ein klein bisser'l Glück“, for piano
1932 3x3=9ne, for piano
1932 d'Ulmer Spatzen, for piano and zither
1932 Der kleine Musikant, for zither
1932 Hungaria, for violin and piano
1932 Krontjong-Marsch, for piano
1932 Ländler, for violin and piano
1932 Romanze „Wintersonne“,for violin, cello and piano
1932 Spanischer Walzer, for accordeon
1932 Trio for violin, cello and piano „Traumbilder“
1934 Air von Hamm, for violin
1935 Air for violin and piano
1938 Suite for flute, piano and tamtam „Auf einer Schlangenfarm“
1939 Aria for viola d'amore and piano
1939 Romanze, for viola and piano

Suite for violin solo

1940 Aus meiner Heimat, for violin and piano
1940 Geburtstagsständchen, for 2 violins
1940 Humoristische Veränderungen des Schlagers „Ich hab mein Herz in Heidelberg verloren“, for violin and piano
1940 Kleine Abendmusik, for 2 violins
1940 Leichte Muse, for violin and piano
1940 Arabische Hirtenmusik, for flute and piano
1940 Walzer, for 2 violins
1942 Ikonische Spiele – ein Marschintermezzo, for piano
1942 In der Wüste, for accordeon / for flute, oboe, clarinet and harp
1942 Narrenzug, for piano
1943 Largo for 3 violins
1945 Meditative Chiesa, for 3 violins and voice ad lib.
1948 4 einfache steyrische Ländler, for 2 violins and zither

String quartet

1957 Potpourrie, for violin and piano „Alte Bekannte“
? Der letzte Gang, for violin and piano
? Die Schrammler, for piano
? Polka „Und kommt die schwarze Katze...“, for piano
? Thema einer Sarabande – und Variationen, for 3 flutes and piano
? Unser Zeppelin, for piano
? Walzer „Flammende Herzen“, for piano

3) works for the 7-string "Treiber" violin/viola

year composition
1925 Prelude for 7-string „Treibergeige“ op.2
1939 Feierliche Abendmusik, for 7-string „Treiberbratsche“
1943 Largo for 7-string „Treibergeige“
1943 Sonate im alten Stil, for 7-string „Treibergeige“ and piano
? Legende, for 7-string „Treiberbratsche“
? Potpourrie Nr.1, for 7-string „Treibergeige“
? Potpourrie Nr.2, for 7-string „Treibergeige“

4) vocal music

year composition
1919 Schlafliedchen, for voice and piano
1920 Einer Unbekannten, for voice and piano/orchestra
1920 Ellen..., for voice and piano
1920 Ich hatte einst..., for voice and piano
1920 Nicht traurig sein, for voice and piano
1920 Sei mein Weib, for voice and piano
1920 Stilles Gedenken, for voice and piano/orchestra

Wär es noch so..., for voice and piano/orchestra

(revised title: Wär ich noch jung....)

1921 Ich wandle einsam, for voice and piano op.8
1921 Klage, for voice and piano op.10a
1921 Im Feld, for voice and piano op.10b

Das verlassene Mägdlein, for voice and piano op.13

   text by: Eduard Mörike

1923 O Friede, komm..., for voice and piano/orchestra op.21

Wartburglied, for voice and piano op.22

   text by: Ludwig Treiber


Was blickt von steiler Bergeshöh'?, for voice and piano

   text by: Ludwig Treiber

1924 Glück auf, for voice and piano op.26
1924 Das „Jajalied“, for voice and piano op.27
1924 Frühlingszauber, for voice and piano op.29
1924 Gebet, for voice and piano op.30
1924 Glückes überall, for voice and piano/orchestra op.36
1924 Perkeos Klage, from the operetta „Das Heidelberger Fass“, for voice and piano op.53b

Die Leidenden, for voice and piano op.55

   text by: Hermann Hesse


Eine muss die Schönste sein, for voice and piano

   text by: Gustav Hochstetter


Hätt's nie gedacht, for voice and piano op.38

   text by: Eva Schering


Campagna, for voice and piano

   text by: Heinz Hell

1925 Gruß eines Churpfälzers an die Schwesterstadt Eisenach, for mens chorus and orchestra
1926 Ich hab' ein Herz in Eisenach gefunden, for voice and piano op.76
1926 Heimatlied, for voice and piano
1926 Wenn mich nicht die Sinne trügen, for voice and piano
1927 Alt Eisenach, die Feine!, for chorus op.81

Ein Prinz reist durch die Lande, for voice and piano/orchestra op.82

   text by: Johann Ilht

1927 Man sieht sich, lernt sich kennen, for voice and piano
1927 Walzerlied, from the operetta „Das Heidelberger Fass“, for voice and piano
1927 Das Lied vom Dienstmann Muck, from the operetta „Das Heidelberger Fass“, for voice and piano

Zukunft, for voice and piano op.100

   text by: Lulu von Strauß und Torney


Weinlied, for voice and piano op.98

   text by: Heinrich Treiber von der Treib

1930 Im 7. Himmel, for voice and orchestra op.99
1937 Der Churpfalzgruß aus Eisenach, for chorus and orchestra
1937 Eisenach, du deutsche Perle, for voice and orchestra
1937 Verrat, for voice and piano

Mütter, for voice and piano

   text by: Erika von Kunhardt

1942 Der grüne Leuchter, for voice and piano

Seltsam im Nebel zu wandern, for voice and piano

   text by: Hermann Hesse


Ballade „Der Wassermann“, for voice and piano

   text by: Justinus Kerner


Das verklungene Lied, for voice and orchestra

   text by: Maximilian Böttcher


Ewige Sehnsucht, for voice and piano

   text by: Erna Berndt

1943 Herzliebster Musikante, for voice and piano

Mutter, for voice and piano

   text by: Charlotte Weusch


Menschen, for voice and piano

   text by: Franz Hammer

1946 Wiegenlied, for voice and piano

Mein Pech, for voice and piano

   text by: Arthur Pserhofer

1947 Sommerfreude, for voice and piano

Das Lied der Pfalz, for voice and piano

   text by: Heinrich Treiber von der Treib


Denn kommt die schwarze Katze, for voice and piano

   text by: Heinrich Treiber von der Treib

? Die Augen meines Kindes, for voice and piano
? Heimatlos, for voice and piano
? Ich träumt' im weiten Walde, for voice and piano
? Lisels Auftrittslied, for voice and piano
? Mein flatterhaftes Herz, for voice and piano

Nebel am Perlacher Forst, for voice and piano

   text by: Charlotte Weusch

? Rosenrot, rosenrot, for voice and piano
? Sehnsucht, for voice and piano

Warum denn gleich so aufgeregt?, for voice and piano

   text by: Heinrich Treiber von der Treib

? Wiegenlied, for voice and piano

5) arrangements

year composition
? Serenade by Franz Drdla
? Romanze by Heinrich Panofka
? Konzertwalzer by Fritz Schärneck
1920 Meditation (after Gounods „Ave Maria)

Here you can find the typeset scores for free download:


Heinrich Treiber von der Treib: Suite for violin alone (1925):

PDF-Dokument [250.7 KB]

Heinrich Treiber von der Treib: String quartet (1949):

PDF-Dokument [414.3 KB]

Heinrich Treiber von der Treib: Am Meer, for orchestra op.14 (1922)

PDF-Dokument [380.5 KB]
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