Skip to main content
Select Source:

Johann Jakob Froberger

Johann Jakob Froberger

The German composer and organist Johann Jakob Froberger (1616-1667) transmitted to Germany important style elements of Italian and French keyboard music.

Johann Jakob Froberger was the son of Basilius Froberger, musical director at the court in Stuttgart. Of Basilius's 11 children, 6 are known to have been musicians and, except for Johann Jakob, were employed at the court. Johann Jakob apparently received some musical instruction from his father and some from other court musicians. These included French, Italian, and English musicians as well as German ones, so that Froberger was probably well acquainted with the prevailing styles.

At some point Froberger went to Vienna, possibly as early as 1631. In 1637 he was employed as an organist there, and that year the court awarded him a stipend which allowed him to go to Rome to study with Girolamo Frescobaldi. Froberger returned to Vienna in 1641 as court organist and supervisor of chamber music and remained there until 1645.

Of Froberger's activities between 1641 and 1649 and of his whereabouts from 1645 to 1654 very little is known. Perhaps there occurred between 1641 and 1649 the reported competition in organ playing with the German musician Matthias Weckmann, which probably led to the extensive correspondence and exchange of compositions between the two. In 1649 Froberger dedicated a book of compositions to Emperor Ferdinand III, which would suggest that he was in Vienna. In 1650 he may have been in the service of Archduke Leopold, the governor of the Spanish Netherlands. During this period he probably made a trip to Paris, since a concert in his honor took place there in 1652.

In 1653 Froberger was back in Vienna, and again there is little information about his activities. In 1658 he was apparently dismissed from imperial service, probably on the accession of Leopold I. A trip to England is reported, but with such fantastic details as to be of doubtful authenticity. Froberger finally sought asylum with the dowager duchess Sibylla of Württemberg and spent the rest of his days at her residence at Héricourt in Burgundy.

Froberger's peripatetic career, together with his creative abilities, made him uniquely capable of shaping the future of German keyboard music. Through him the elements of the Italian style that he had learned from Frescobaldi were transferred to southern Germany. Through Froberger's connections with Weckmann and the Dutch musician Christian Huygens, these style elements were transmitted to the north as well, thus influencing composers down to the time of Johann Sebastian Bach and George Frederick Handel. Few of Froberger's works were published during his lifetime, but they were widely disseminated in manuscript (thus did Bach transmit them to his pupils).

Except for two vocal works, only Froberger's keyboard compositions are preserved. He employed forms similar to Frescobaldi's, but with French influences leading to more symmetrical structures and with his Germanic proclivity for counterpoint very evident.

Formerly Froberger was credited with giving to the keyboard suite its classical sequence of movements: allemande, courante, sarabande, and gigue. But this sequence was imposed on his suites at the time of the publication of his complete works in 1693. His true contribution, and it is an important one, is the synthesis of French, German, and Italian elements into a unique style that was influential for the entire baroque era.

Further Reading

No extensive study of Froberger exists in English. His significance is discussed in Manfred F. Bukofzer's excellent Music in the Baroque Era: From Monteverdi to Bach (1947). □

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Johann Jakob Froberger." Encyclopedia of World Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Johann Jakob Froberger." Encyclopedia of World Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 15, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/johann-jakob-froberger

"Johann Jakob Froberger." Encyclopedia of World Biography. . Retrieved October 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/johann-jakob-froberger

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Froberger, Johann Jacob

Froberger, Johann Jacob (b Stuttgart, 1616; d Héricourt, 1667). Ger. composer and organist. Org. at court of Vienna 1637, but spent next 4 years in Italy as pupil of Frescobaldi. Visited Belgium, Germany, Holland, France, and England before returning to Vienna as court org. 1653–8. Comp. much for org. and hpd. (toccatas, capriccios, ricercari, etc.).

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Froberger, Johann Jacob." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Froberger, Johann Jacob." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 15, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/froberger-johann-jacob

"Froberger, Johann Jacob." The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Music. . Retrieved October 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/arts/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/froberger-johann-jacob

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Froberger, Johann Jakob

Johann Jakob Froberger (yō´hān yā´kôp frō´bĕrgər), 1616–67, German organist and composer; pupil of Frescobaldi. His style influenced German keyboard music during the baroque era. He is best known for his suites for harpsichord or clavichord suites.

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Froberger, Johann Jakob." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Froberger, Johann Jakob." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 15, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/froberger-johann-jakob

"Froberger, Johann Jakob." The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. . Retrieved October 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/reference/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/froberger-johann-jakob

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.

Froberger, Johann Jakob

FROBERGER, JOHANN JAKOB

Internationally famous 17th-century composer and keyboard virtuoso; b. Stuttgart, Germany, May 19, 1616;d. Héricourt (Haute-Saône), France, May 6 or 7, 1667. Froberger was one of 11 children born to the conductor of the Protestant court chapel at Stuttgart. His brothers were active in this chapel, and his first musical training was undoubtedly a family affair. His professional training was completed under frescobaldi in Rome (163741), and it is thought that his conversion to Catholicism occurred during this interval. At age 25 Froberger was appointed court organist in Vienna; he continued in this position and in other royal chapels until 1657, thus providing one of the chief channels through which Italian and French idioms passed into Germany. His final years were spent under the patronage of dowager Duchess Sibylla of Württemberg. Extant sources indicate that his creative activity was in large part confined to composition for keyboard instruments. Like Frescobaldi, he composed multisectional canzonas, ricercars, capriccios, and fantasias, in which each section presents the main theme in a particular shape; he applied this technique to toccatas as well. The pattern of his suites (allemande, courante, sarabande) is that of French composers, and the texture of these dances is regarded as a transformation of French lute technique. Froberger's music is a particularly rewarding field for study of the development of tonal organization in the 17th century.

Bibliography: Gesammelte Ausgabe, ed. l. g. adler (Denkmäler der Tonkunst in Österreich [1893 ; repr. Graz 1959 ] 8, 13, 21). m. reimann, Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart, ed. f. blume (Kassel-Basel 1949) 4:982993. g. frotscher, Geschichte des Orgelspiels und der Orgelkomposition, 2 v. (2d ed. Berlin 1959). a. pirro, Les Clavecinistes (Paris 1924). w. apel, Masters of the Keyboard (Cambridge, Mass. 1947). m. f. bukofzer, Music in the Baroque Era (New York 1947). g. j. buelow, "Johann Jacob Froberger," in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, ed. s. sadie, v. 6 (New York 1980) 858862. f. lesure, ed. J. J. Froberger: Musicien Européen (Montbéliard, France 1998). t. norman, "Performance Practice of the Keyboard Music of Johann Jakob Froberger" (Ph.D. diss. Monash University 1991). d. m. randel, ed., The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music (Cambridge, Mass. 1996) 285286. h. siedentopf, Johann Jakob Froberger: Leben und Werk (Stuttgart 1977). n. slonimsky, ed., Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians (8th ed. New York 1992) 580.

[d. beikman]

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Froberger, Johann Jakob." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. 15 Oct. 2018 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Froberger, Johann Jakob." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 15, 2018). http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/froberger-johann-jakob

"Froberger, Johann Jakob." New Catholic Encyclopedia. . Retrieved October 15, 2018 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/religion/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/froberger-johann-jakob

Learn more about citation styles

Citation styles

Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).

Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.

Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:

Modern Language Association

http://www.mla.org/style

The Chicago Manual of Style

http://www.chicagomanualofstyle.org/tools_citationguide.html

American Psychological Association

http://apastyle.apa.org/

Notes:
  • Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
  • In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.