Gunild Keetman

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Background: Gunild Keetman

Gunild Keetman (1904-1990) was a composer, performer and teacher who played a critical role in the development
and spread of Orff Schulwerk (Orff Schoolwork). Carl Orff frequently said that the Schulwerk could not
have come into being without Keetman’s essential contributions.

In 1926 Keetman enrolled as a student at the Guntherschule, the innovative school for music and dance

founded by Orff and Dorothee Gunther in Munich, Germany. In 1928 Keetman became a teacher there, with primary

responsibility for the instrumental work. In 1930 she took leadership of the school’s dance orchestra; her

compositions and performances with the Gunther Dance Group were acclaimed in tours across Europe. In 1936

she composed the music and directed the Guntherschule music/dance performance at the opening ceremony of

the Olympic Games held in Munich. She continued her work at the Guntherschule until 1944, when the German

government took control of the school. The building and its contents were later destroyed in wartime bombing.

By 1932 Keetman and Orff had begun their collaboration on the first of an extensive series of books summarizing

the kind of music making developed at the Guntherschule, Elemental Music Practice: Pieces for Small

Percussion. Keetman produced six more collections of pieces between 1932 and 1934. These were the original Orff-Schulwerk publications.

After the war Orff and Keetman again collaborated, adapting for children the improvisational approach to music education they had pioneered.

Their first efforts with children were commissioned as radio broadcasts for German schools, with Keetman teaching the lessons. From 1949-56

Keetman taught children at the Mozarteum Academy in Salzburg, Austria. Her work with teacher training began in 1961 at the establishment of the

Orff Institute, which she co-directed until 1966 with Orff and Wilhelm Keller. (The dedicated building known as the Orff Institute opened in 1963.)

Thereafter Keetman, Orff, and others from the Institute traveled extensively – e.g., various European countries, Canada, Japan, Senegal – introducing

Orff Schulwerk to potential teachers through workshops and short courses.

Examples from the radio broadcasts were notated and published in the five-volume collection (1950-54) titled Orff-Schulwerk: Musik fur Kinder

(Music for Children), with additions in Paralipomena (1966). These materials serve as models for creating improvisatory elemental music with children

in the classroom. From 1963 to 1975 Keetman co-directed with Orff 10 recordings of music from the Schulwerk volumes, titled Musica Poetica.

From 1980 to 1986 she collaborated with Danish teacher and composer Minna Ronnefeld on eight books of musical compositions to be used by

Schulwerk teachers. Six more books from the collaboration with Ronnefeld were published posthumously.

Compositions for recorder by Gunild Keetman

1932: Spielstücke für Blockflöten und kleines Schlagwerk
1951: Spielstücke für Blockflöten, Book A
1951: Spielstücke für Blockflöten, Book B

1956: Stücke für Flöte und Trommel I

1950-1954: Orff-Schulwerk: Musik für Kinder, Volumes I-V (with Carl Orff)

1958-1966: Orff-Schulwerk: Music for Children, Volumes I-V (with Carl Orff) translated and adapted by Margaret Murray

1973: Stücke für Flöte und Trommel II

1980: Elemental Recorder Playing with Instructions for Ensemble Playing and Improvisation (with Minna Ronnefeld) translated and adapted by

Mary Shamrock in 1999

1991: Country Dances. From the English Dancing Master, by John Playford (with Minna Ronnefeld)

1991: Old French Dances. In Simple Settings for 2-3 Recorders (SSA), and Small Percussion (with Minna Ronnefeld) in French and German.

Other compositions by Gunild Keetman*

1932: Pieces for Small Percussion
1933: Dance: Orff-Schulwerk
1933: Pieces for Playing and Dancing: Ecstatic Dance: Orff-Schulwerk

1935: Little Recorder Books 1 and 2, Orff-Schulwerk. Elemental Music Practice

1948: The Christmas Story (with text by Carl Orff)

1963: Japanese Children’s Songs

1965: Book of Pieces for Xylophone, for One Player

1966: Book of Pieces for Xylophone, for Two Players

1966: Book of Pieces for Xylophone, for Large Xylophone

1970: Rhythmic Exercise

1973: Practice Exercises and Pieces for Timpani

1973: Paralipomena (with Carl Orff)

1989: Taiwanese and Chinese Children’s Songs

* For a complete list of the hundreds of Keetman compositions, see: Gunild Keetman: A Life Given to Music and Movement by Hermann Regner and

Minna Ronnefeld (Mainz: Schott Musik International, 2004).

# # #

Rev. 6/30/06

Gunild Keetman

Gunild Keetman (1904-1990) was a composer, performer and teacher who played a critical role in the development
and spread of Orff Schulwerk (Orff Schoolwork). Carl Orff frequently said that the Schulwerk could not
have come into being without Keetman’s essential contributions.

In 1926 Keetman enrolled as a student at the Guntherschule, the innovative school for music and dance

founded by Orff and Dorothee Gunther in Munich, Germany. In 1928 Keetman became a teacher there, with primary

responsibility for the instrumental work. In 1930 she took leadership of the school’s dance orchestra; her

compositions and performances with the Gunther Dance Group were acclaimed in tours across Europe. In 1936

she composed the music and directed the Guntherschule music/dance performance at the opening ceremony of

the Olympic Games held in Munich. She continued her work at the Guntherschule until 1944, when the German

government took control of the school. The building and its contents were later destroyed in wartime bombing.

By 1932 Keetman and Orff had begun their collaboration on the first of an extensive series of books summarizing

the kind of music making developed at the Guntherschule, Elemental Music Practice: Pieces for Small

Percussion. Keetman produced six more collections of pieces between 1932 and 1934. These were the original Orff-Schulwerk publications.

After the war Orff and Keetman again collaborated, adapting for children the improvisational approach to music education they had pioneered.

Their first efforts with children were commissioned as radio broadcasts for German schools, with Keetman teaching the lessons. From 1949-56

Keetman taught children at the Mozarteum Academy in Salzburg, Austria. Her work with teacher training began in 1961 at the establishment of the

Orff Institute, which she co-directed until 1966 with Orff and Wilhelm Keller. (The dedicated building known as the Orff Institute opened in 1963.)

Thereafter Keetman, Orff, and others from the Institute traveled extensively – e.g., various European countries, Canada, Japan, Senegal – introducing

Orff Schulwerk to potential teachers through workshops and short courses.

Examples from the radio broadcasts were notated and published in the five-volume collection (1950-54) titled Orff-Schulwerk: Musik fur Kinder

(Music for Children), with additions in Paralipomena (1966). These materials serve as models for creating improvisatory elemental music with children

in the classroom. From 1963 to 1975 Keetman co-directed with Orff 10 recordings of music from the Schulwerk volumes, titled Musica Poetica.

From 1980 to 1986 she collaborated with Danish teacher and composer Minna Ronnefeld on eight books of musical compositions to be used by

Schulwerk teachers. Six more books from the collaboration with Ronnefeld were published posthumously.

Compositions for recorder by Gunild Keetman

1932: Spielstücke für Blockflöten und kleines Schlagwerk
1951: Spielstücke für Blockflöten, Book A
1951: Spielstücke für Blockflöten, Book B

1956: Stücke für Flöte und Trommel I

1950-1954: Orff-Schulwerk: Musik für Kinder, Volumes I-V (with Carl Orff)

1958-1966: Orff-Schulwerk: Music for Children, Volumes I-V (with Carl Orff) translated and adapted by Margaret Murray

1973: Stücke für Flöte und Trommel II

1980: Elemental Recorder Playing with Instructions for Ensemble Playing and Improvisation (with Minna Ronnefeld) translated and adapted by

Mary Shamrock in 1999

1991: Country Dances. From the English Dancing Master, by John Playford (with Minna Ronnefeld)

1991: Old French Dances. In Simple Settings for 2-3 Recorders (SSA), and Small Percussion (with Minna Ronnefeld) in French and German.

Other compositions by Gunild Keetman*

1932: Pieces for Small Percussion
1933: Dance: Orff-Schulwerk
1933: Pieces for Playing and Dancing: Ecstatic Dance: Orff-Schulwerk

1935: Little Recorder Books 1 and 2, Orff-Schulwerk. Elemental Music Practice

1948: The Christmas Story (with text by Carl Orff)

1963: Japanese Children’s Songs

1965: Book of Pieces for Xylophone, for One Player

1966: Book of Pieces for Xylophone, for Two Players

1966: Book of Pieces for Xylophone, for Large Xylophone

1970: Rhythmic Exercise

1973: Practice Exercises and Pieces for Timpani

1973: Paralipomena (with Carl Orff)

1989: Taiwanese and Chinese Children’s Songs

* For a complete list of the hundreds of Keetman compositions, see: Gunild Keetman: A Life Given to Music and Movement by Hermann Regner and

Minna Ronnefeld (Mainz: Schott Musik International, 2004).

# # #

Rev. 6/30/06

Gunild Keetman

Gunild Keetman (1904-1990) was a composer, performer and teacher who played a critical role in the development
and spread of Orff Schulwerk (Orff Schoolwork). Carl Orff frequently said that the Schulwerk could not
have come into being without Keetman’s essential contributions.

In 1926 Keetman enrolled as a student at the Guntherschule, the innovative school for music and dance

founded by Orff and Dorothee Gunther in Munich, Germany. In 1928 Keetman became a teacher there, with primary

responsibility for the instrumental work. In 1930 she took leadership of the school’s dance orchestra; her

compositions and performances with the Gunther Dance Group were acclaimed in tours across Europe. In 1936

she composed the music and directed the Guntherschule music/dance performance at the opening ceremony of

the Olympic Games held in Munich. She continued her work at the Guntherschule until 1944, when the German

government took control of the school. The building and its contents were later destroyed in wartime bombing.

By 1932 Keetman and Orff had begun their collaboration on the first of an extensive series of books summarizing

the kind of music making developed at the Guntherschule, Elemental Music Practice: Pieces for Small

Percussion. Keetman produced six more collections of pieces between 1932 and 1934. These were the original Orff-Schulwerk publications.

After the war Orff and Keetman again collaborated, adapting for children the improvisational approach to music education they had pioneered.

Their first efforts with children were commissioned as radio broadcasts for German schools, with Keetman teaching the lessons. From 1949-56

Keetman taught children at the Mozarteum Academy in Salzburg, Austria. Her work with teacher training began in 1961 at the establishment of the

Orff Institute, which she co-directed until 1966 with Orff and Wilhelm Keller. (The dedicated building known as the Orff Institute opened in 1963.)

Thereafter Keetman, Orff, and others from the Institute traveled extensively – e.g., various European countries, Canada, Japan, Senegal – introducing

Orff Schulwerk to potential teachers through workshops and short courses.

Examples from the radio broadcasts were notated and published in the five-volume collection (1950-54) titled Orff-Schulwerk: Musik fur Kinder

(Music for Children), with additions in Paralipomena (1966). These materials serve as models for creating improvisatory elemental music with children

in the classroom. From 1963 to 1975 Keetman co-directed with Orff 10 recordings of music from the Schulwerk volumes, titled Musica Poetica.

From 1980 to 1986 she collaborated with Danish teacher and composer Minna Ronnefeld on eight books of musical compositions to be used by

Schulwerk teachers. Six more books from the collaboration with Ronnefeld were published posthumously.

Compositions for recorder by Gunild Keetman

1932: Spielstücke für Blockflöten und kleines Schlagwerk
1951: Spielstücke für Blockflöten, Book A
1951: Spielstücke für Blockflöten, Book B

1956: Stücke für Flöte und Trommel I

1950-1954: Orff-Schulwerk: Musik für Kinder, Volumes I-V (with Carl Orff)

1958-1966: Orff-Schulwerk: Music for Children, Volumes I-V (with Carl Orff) translated and adapted by Margaret Murray

1973: Stücke für Flöte und Trommel II

1980: Elemental Recorder Playing with Instructions for Ensemble Playing and Improvisation (with Minna Ronnefeld) translated and adapted by

Mary Shamrock in 1999

1991: Country Dances. From the English Dancing Master, by John Playford (with Minna Ronnefeld)

1991: Old French Dances. In Simple Settings for 2-3 Recorders (SSA), and Small Percussion (with Minna Ronnefeld) in French and German.

Other compositions by Gunild Keetman*

1932: Pieces for Small Percussion
1933: Dance: Orff-Schulwerk
1933: Pieces for Playing and Dancing: Ecstatic Dance: Orff-Schulwerk

1935: Little Recorder Books 1 and 2, Orff-Schulwerk. Elemental Music Practice

1948: The Christmas Story (with text by Carl Orff)

1963: Japanese Children’s Songs

1965: Book of Pieces for Xylophone, for One Player

1966: Book of Pieces for Xylophone, for Two Players

1966: Book of Pieces for Xylophone, for Large Xylophone

1970: Rhythmic Exercise

1973: Practice Exercises and Pieces for Timpani

1973: Paralipomena (with Carl Orff)

1989: Taiwanese and Chinese Children’s Songs

* For a complete list of the hundreds of Keetman compositions, see: Gunild Keetman: A Life Given to Music and Movement by Hermann Regner and

Minna Ronnefeld (Mainz: Schott Musik International, 2004).

# # #

Rev. 6/30/06

Gunild Keetman

Gunild Keetman (1904-1990) was a composer, performer and teacher who played a critical role in the development
and spread of Orff Schulwerk (Orff Schoolwork). Carl Orff frequently said that the Schulwerk could not
have come into being without Keetman’s essential contributions.

In 1926 Keetman enrolled as a student at the Guntherschule, the innovative school for music and dance

founded by Orff and Dorothee Gunther in Munich, Germany. In 1928 Keetman became a teacher there, with primary

responsibility for the instrumental work. In 1930 she took leadership of the school’s dance orchestra; her

compositions and performances with the Gunther Dance Group were acclaimed in tours across Europe. In 1936

she composed the music and directed the Guntherschule music/dance performance at the opening ceremony of

the Olympic Games held in Munich. She continued her work at the Guntherschule until 1944, when the German

government took control of the school. The building and its contents were later destroyed in wartime bombing.

By 1932 Keetman and Orff had begun their collaboration on the first of an extensive series of books summarizing

the kind of music making developed at the Guntherschule, Elemental Music Practice: Pieces for Small

Percussion. Keetman produced six more collections of pieces between 1932 and 1934. These were the original Orff-Schulwerk publications.

After the war Orff and Keetman again collaborated, adapting for children the improvisational approach to music education they had pioneered.

Their first efforts with children were commissioned as radio broadcasts for German schools, with Keetman teaching the lessons. From 1949-56

Keetman taught children at the Mozarteum Academy in Salzburg, Austria. Her work with teacher training began in 1961 at the establishment of the

Orff Institute, which she co-directed until 1966 with Orff and Wilhelm Keller. (The dedicated building known as the Orff Institute opened in 1963.)

Thereafter Keetman, Orff, and others from the Institute traveled extensively – e.g., various European countries, Canada, Japan, Senegal – introducing

Orff Schulwerk to potential teachers through workshops and short courses.

Examples from the radio broadcasts were notated and published in the five-volume collection (1950-54) titled Orff-Schulwerk: Musik fur Kinder

(Music for Children), with additions in Paralipomena (1966). These materials serve as models for creating improvisatory elemental music with children

in the classroom. From 1963 to 1975 Keetman co-directed with Orff 10 recordings of music from the Schulwerk volumes, titled Musica Poetica.

From 1980 to 1986 she collaborated with Danish teacher and composer Minna Ronnefeld on eight books of musical compositions to be used by

Schulwerk teachers. Six more books from the collaboration with Ronnefeld were published posthumously.

Compositions for recorder by Gunild Keetman

1932: Spielstücke für Blockflöten und kleines Schlagwerk
1951: Spielstücke für Blockflöten, Book A
1951: Spielstücke für Blockflöten, Book B

1956: Stücke für Flöte und Trommel I

1950-1954: Orff-Schulwerk: Musik für Kinder, Volumes I-V (with Carl Orff)

1958-1966: Orff-Schulwerk: Music for Children, Volumes I-V (with Carl Orff) translated and adapted by Margaret Murray

1973: Stücke für Flöte und Trommel II

1980: Elemental Recorder Playing with Instructions for Ensemble Playing and Improvisation (with Minna Ronnefeld) translated and adapted by

Mary Shamrock in 1999

1991: Country Dances. From the English Dancing Master, by John Playford (with Minna Ronnefeld)

1991: Old French Dances. In Simple Settings for 2-3 Recorders (SSA), and Small Percussion (with Minna Ronnefeld) in French and German.

Other compositions by Gunild Keetman*

1932: Pieces for Small Percussion
1933: Dance: Orff-Schulwerk
1933: Pieces for Playing and Dancing: Ecstatic Dance: Orff-Schulwerk

1935: Little Recorder Books 1 and 2, Orff-Schulwerk. Elemental Music Practice

1948: The Christmas Story (with text by Carl Orff)

1963: Japanese Children’s Songs

1965: Book of Pieces for Xylophone, for One Player

1966: Book of Pieces for Xylophone, for Two Players

1966: Book of Pieces for Xylophone, for Large Xylophone

1970: Rhythmic Exercise

1973: Practice Exercises and Pieces for Timpani

1973: Paralipomena (with Carl Orff)

1989: Taiwanese and Chinese Children’s Songs

* For a complete list of the hundreds of Keetman compositions, see: Gunild Keetman: A Life Given to Music and Movement by Hermann Regner and

Minna Ronnefeld (Mainz: Schott Musik International, 2004).

# # #

Rev. 6/30/06

Gunild Keetman

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One response to “Gunild Keetman

  1. I loved reading your blog and I wanted to let you know that I fully agree with you. It is difficult to find those that suppose alike these days. Keep it up

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