Froberger, Johann Jacob
1616 - 67
German composer, organist and harpsicordist whose keyboard compositions are among the richest of the early Baroque era.

Froberge was born in Stuttgart. He spent much of his professional life at the court of Vienna, and traveled widely to Italy, France, England, and the Netherlands.

Most of his music was published posthumously beginning in the last decade of the seventeenth century. His style, blending Italian and French genres and techniques with quintessentially "German" contrapuntal thinking, was immediately perceived as a foundation of this national style.

The other Italian genre in which Froberger composed is the canzona, or capriccio. Froberger's harpsichord suites published in the 1690s gave the impression that he "invented" the generic structure which would dominate eighteenth-century keyboard music.

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Pachelbel, Johann
1653 - 1706
German composer of Italian -influenced organ compositions and one of the great organ masters before Bach.

Pachelbel studied in Nuremberg, Altdorf, and Regensburg before becoming the organist of St. Stephen's Cathedral Vienna, Austria, in 1674.

He wrote both free works (toccatas, fantasies, fugues, etc.) and chorale settings. His development of the 'cantus firmus' chorale is perhaps his greatest contribution. It consists of the chorale melody in long notes, one phrase at a time, each phrase preceded by fore-imitation in the accompanying voices.

In 1690 he became court organist at Stuttgart. Two years later he took his final post, in Nuremburg. Johann Pachelbel's repertory is the stylistic ancestor of J. S. Bach's, particularly his technique of chorale variation.

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Praetorius, Michael
1571 - 1621
German music theorist who is a principal source for knowledge of 17th cent. music. His compositions of Lutheran chorales exemplify the religious music of his time.

Praetorius spent most of his professional life as an organist, Kantor and Kapellmeister in the Lutheran cities and states of Northern Germany.

In 1613, Praetorius entered the service of the Elector Johann Georg of Saxony at the Dresden court, where he would remain until 1616, when he returned to Wolfenbuttel.

A virtuoso organist, an organ builder, a composer and a musical scholar, Praetorius is celebrated for writing a remarkable three volume musical treatise, the Syntagma musicum, which allows us rare and fascinating glimpses into the musical sensibilities of his time.

He was also one of the most prolific composers of his generation in Germany, listing over forty volumes of printed music at the end of the Syntagma musicum, including sacred and secular works of all kinds for voices, choirs, instruments, and organ.