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date: 05 December 2019

Beck, Johann Hectorlocked

  • Erik Kjellberg
  • , revised by Paul Whitehead


(fl 1650–70). German composer, editor and musician. He is known to have been the principal musicus ordinarius in Frankfurt. He was nominated in 1650 but was expelled a few years later for indecent behaviour; he returned to the position in 1670. His name is connected with two collections of dance music for four-part string ensemble and basso continuo. Continuatio exercitii musici (Frankfurt, 1666), includes 50 dance pieces bearing his name, presumably as composer, arranged into suites and according to the title pages he arranged and edited the anonymous pieces of this volume and of its successor, Continuatio exercitii musici secunda (1670). The 1666 volume was the second edition of Exercitium musicum (1660); this publication makes no mention of Beck, although it is possible that he had an editorial role here too. It includes pieces in scordatura and features a wider range of genres than its successor volumes. The latter, however, contain information on the optional deletion of parts, apparently to accommodate varying levels of skill in the performers. Indeed, the idea of bringing together performers with differing levels of ability in an instructional setting may well have had some bearing on the titles of the collections. (Å. Davidsson: ...

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