Erbach, Christian

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Erbach, Christian

Erbach, Christian, noted German organist, teacher, and composer; b. Gaualgesheim, near Mainz, c. 1568; d. Augsburg, summer 1635. He went to Augsburg and entered the service of Marcus Fugger, then became organist at the church of St. Moritz, as well as town organist and head of the Stadtpfeifer in 1602. He was made asst. organist at the Cathedral in 1614, and then chief organist in 1625; he also taught organ and composition at the Catholic choir school. Although a Catholic, he was allowed to retain his position at the Cathedral after Swedish troops took control of the town in 1632 during the 30 Years7 War; however, he was dismissed on June 9, 1635, when funds could no longer be found to pay him. His music reflects the influence of the Italian masters of his day. See A. Grotton, ed., Christian Erbach:Ausgewahlte geistliche Chorwerke (Mainz, 1943), and C. Raynor, ed., Christian Erbach (c. 1570–1635):Collected Keyboard Compositions in Corpus of Early Keyboard Music, XXXVI (1971 et seq.).

Worksi Vocal: Modi sacri sive cantus musici, ad ecclesiae catholicae usum for 4 to 10 Voices…liber primus (Augsburg, 1600); Mele sive cantiones sacrae ad modum canzonette ut vocant for 4 to 6 Voices (Augsburg, 1603); Modorum sacrorum sive cantionum for 4 to 9 Voices.. .Lib. secundus (Augsburg, 1603–04); Modorum sacrorum tripertitorum for 5 Voices…pars prima (Dillingen, 1604); Modorum sacrorum tripertitorum for 5 Voices…pars altera (Dillingen, 1606); Modorum sacrorum tripertitorum for 5 Voices.. .pars tertia (Dillingen, 1606); Sacrarum cantionem for 4 to 5 Voices. ..liber tertius (Augsburg, 1611); also Acht underschiedtliche geistliche teutsche Lieder for 4 Voices (Augsburg, n.d.); other works in various anthologies of the day. INSTRUMENTAL: Many keyboard works, including 35 toccatas, 32 ricercari, 22 canzonas, 11 introits, and 4 fantasias.


S. Sharpe, An Introduction to the Keyboard Works ofC.E. (1573–1635) (diss., Ind. Univ., 1961); W. Haldeman, The Vocal Compositions of C. E. (c. 1570–1635) (diss., Univ. of Rochester, 1962).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire