Majer, Joseph Friedrich Bernhard Caspar
- George J. Buelow
( b Schwäbisch Hall, Oct 16, 1689; d Schwäbisch Hall, May 22, 1768). German organist and writer on music . He began organ lessons at the age of nine with Baur, organist of St Katharina; after completing the curriculum of the local Gymnasium, he was a municipal clerk in neighbouring towns, returning later to his native city first as district clerk and then as city clerk, also becoming in 1724 Kantor and organist of St Katharina. Majer wrote two musical instruction manuals, Hodegus musicus (Schwäbisch Hall, 1718; lost) and the important Museum musicum theoretico practicum (Schwäbisch Hall, 1732/R, 2/1741; Majer’s annotated copy is in D-Sl ). It is the latter which establishes him among the significant writers on music in the late Baroque. The Museum musicum aims to give students self-instruction in the elementary concepts of musical notation (musica signatoria) and in the techniques of playing most instruments, including the recorder, chalumeau, flute, oboe, bassoon, cornett, flageolet, clarinet, clarino, horn, trombone, various keyboard instruments, lute, harp, timpani, violin and the viols. His explicit fingering and position charts for each of these instruments provides an unusually clear picture of German Baroque instrumental practice. A succinct introduction to the thoroughbass practice is also informative. Very little of Majer’s short work seems to be original. He said the thoroughbass material was taken from an anonymous work of ...