Sponsel, Johann Ulrich
- George J. Buelow
(b Muggendorf, Upper Franconia, bap. Dec 5, 1721; d Burgbernheim, Middle Franconia, Jan 10, 1788). German writer on music. He attended the Gymnasium Casimirianum Academicum in Coburg (but not until 1741–4), and studied philosophy, theology and oriental languages at Erlangen University until 1746. In 1747 he was appointed an adiutor at the Gymnasium in Bayreuth and received in 1748 the position of preacher in the suburb of St Georgen. On 22 January 1753 he was made an honorary member of the Lateinische Gesellschaft in Jena, and in April of that year became pastor in Lenkersheim. Finally in 1766 he moved to Burgbernheim as pastor and church superintendent. Among many publications, largely concerning church matters, his only musical work is Orgelhistorie (Nuremberg, 1771/R), a modest publication of 167 pages which originated as the sermon given for the dedication of the rebuilt organ in his church. In it Sponsel attempted to trace the history of the organ from ancient times, though he disclaimed any goal of completeness. His history is faulty and undependable, and heavily indebted to books on the organ by Praetorius, Printz, Werckmeister and Adlung. Most significant, however, and of continuing value, is a fairly detailed description of 26 important Franconian and Regensburg organs, with data compiled through correspondence....