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17th Century Music in Germany

Composers in Germany in the 17thc. are not as well known as those in the 18thc, except for Johann Pachelbel and his famous 'Canon' - which has becoming increasingly popular since the 1970s. He worked in Germany and Austria, composing music for keyboard, chamber ensembles, and vocal music. Pachelbel's son, Charles Theodore, also a musician, emigrated to Boston in colonial America in 1733, later settling in Charleston, South Carolina, where he spent the rest of his life. Period Instrument version: Fun version: Another important composer in Germany during this period was the Danish-German organist Dieterich Buxtehude. He is probably best known for his musical influence on composers in the 18thc, including the young J S Bach who walked nearly 400 km to Lübeck in 1705 to hear him play. Lübeck, late 17thc.

Buxtehude - 'Toccata': Syntagma Musicum (1620), by the German composer, keyboard player, and music theorist, Michael Praetorius provides us with much important information concerning musical performance and musical instruments in Germany in the early part of the 17thc. Violin family




Musical Pitch Modern standard musical pitch is A=440Hz - vibrations per second - the note A above middle-C on a piano. During the baroque period musical pitch was lower, and varied from county to country, and even from region to region - from as low as A=409 (17thc.France) to A=423 (18thc. England). Since the revival of the use of period instruments A=415 (G# on a piano) has been adopted as standard baroque pitch to enable period instrument players world-wide to be able to play with each other, and for instrument makers to only have to produce instruments at one pitch. A=415:

Next Week – 17th Century Music in England

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