Printz, Wolfgang Caspar
Printz, Wolfgang Caspar
Printz, Wolfgang Caspar , significant German music theorist and historian; b. Waldthurn, Upper Palatinate, Oct. 10, 1641; d. Sorau, Lower Lusatia, Oct. 13, 1717. He studied in Waldthurn and at the Vohenstrauss Lateinschule, where he received instruction in music from Kilian Hammer and acquired proficiency in violin and keyboard playing. After further studies in Weiden (1654–59), he became a theological student at the Univ. of Altdorf; also continued musical training. He became a Lutheran minister in 1661, but soon turned decisively to music and served as a tenor at the Heidelberg court chapel; then entered the service of a Dutch nobleman, whom he accompanied to Italy; there he devoted himself to the study of music theory. Returning to Germany, he served as court composer and music director to Count Leopold of Promnitz in Sorau until 1664; then was Kantor in Triebel (1664–65) before taking up that position in Sorau (1665); was also made music director to Count Balthasar Er/Dennis McIntireann of Promnitz (1682). Printz’s Writings on music theory and history provide a valuable source for the study of 17th-century music; they greatly influenced Mattheson and Walther. He was also a composer, but his large output seems to be entirely lost. His valuable music library was destroyed in the devastating Sorau fire of 1684.
Compendium musicete in quo…explicantur…omnia ea quae ad Oden artificiose componendam requiruntur (Guben, 1668); Anweisung zur Singe-Kunst oder Kurtzer Bericht wie man einen Kanben…könne singen lehren (Guben, 1672); Phrynis Mitile-naeus, oder Satyrischer Componist (3 vols., Quedlinburg, 1676–79); Musica modulatoria vocalis oder Manierliche und zierliche Sing-Kunst (Schweidnitz, 1678); Declaration oder Weitere Erklärung der Refutation des Satyrischen Componistens (1679); Compendium musicae signatoriae et modulatoriae vocalis, das ist Kurtzer Begriff aller derjenigen Sachen, so einem, der die Vocal-Music lernen will, zu wissen von nöthen seyn (Dresden, 1689; 2nd ed., 1714); Exercitationes musicae theoretico-practicae curiosae de concordantiis singulis, das ist Musicalische Wissenschaft und Kunst-Übungen (8 parts, Dresden, 1687–89); Historische Beschreibung der edelen Sing- und Kling- Kunst (Dresden, 1690).
H. Heckmann, W.C. P. und seine Rhythmuslehre (diss., Univ. of Freiburg, 1952).
—Nicolas Slonimsky/Laura Kuhn/Dennis McIntire