Ebeling, Christoph Daniel
- Howard Serwer
(b Garmissen, nr Hildesheim, Nov 20, 1741; d Hamburg, June 30, 1817). German writer on music and translator. He studied theology at Göttingen and, although he was deaf, became a teacher at the Hamburg Handlungsakademie in 1769 and professor of history and Greek at the Gymnasium in 1784. With C.P.E. Bach he organized a concert in 1772 in honour of a visit by Burney, whose The Present State of Music in France and Italy he translated, with J.J.C. Bode, in the same year. He was a close friend of Klopstock, with whom he translated Jennens’s text for Handel’s Messiah in about 1782, and whose poems he edited. In 1793 he began an encyclopedic and statistical description of the USA which had reached seven volumes at his death. For the last 18 years of his life he was librarian of the Hamburg Staatsbibliothek.
As was typical in the German Enlightenment, Ebeling was strongly influenced by French thought, and he published translations of French writings on music and poetry in Hamburg and Hanover periodicals. His commentaries to these works and his other articles on music, though not always critical, reflect the breadth of his interests and activities. His most important contribution to music is the ‘Versuch einer auserlesenen musikalischen Bibliothek’ (...