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date: 16 December 2019

Neidhardt, Johann Georg locked

  • Cecil Adkins


( b Bernstadt, c 1685; d Königsberg, 1739). German theorist and composer . After early training at Altdorf and Wittenberg, Neidhardt matriculated as a theology student at Jena, where he produced his first treatise on temperament and apparently continued his musical training. It is likely that he studied with the university organist, J.N. Bach, who knew him well enough to allow him to try one of his temperaments on the new organ at the city’s central church; Bach’s tuning, however, was found more singable. Between 1710 and 1720, when he was appointed Kapellmeister at Königsberg, Neidhardt was again in Bernstadt as well as in Breslau, where he is known to have lectured on composition. He then remained at Königsberg until his death, teaching organ and versification to the university students in addition to his writing and official duties.

Along with Werckmeister, Neidhardt perfected the art of practical temperaments in the early 18th century. An advocate of circulating temperaments (those intended to be most consonant in the more frequently used keys, and progressively less so in the remoter ones), he wanted his more than two dozen temperaments to be flexibly applied, as may be judged from his recommendation of specific temperaments for a village, a town, a city, and the court (the last assigned an equal temperament). He was apparently an active composer throughout his life; his few extant works include chorale settings (...

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