Fux, Johann Joseph
- Thomas Hochradner
- and Harry White
(b Hirtenfeld, nr St Marein, Styria, 1660; d Vienna, Feb 13, 1741). Austrian composer and music theorist. He represents the culmination of the Austro-Italian Baroque in music. His compositions reflect the imperial and Catholic preoccupations of the Habsburg monarchy no less than does the architecture of Fischer von Erlach or the scenic designs of the Galli-Bibiena family. His Gradus ad Parnassum (1725) has been the most influential composition treatise in European music from the 18th century onwards.
Fux's exact date of birth is unknown. According to his death certificate he was 81 when he died; Flotzinger (Fux-Studien, A1985, p.34) has conjectured that he may have been born on 5 January 1660. His antecedents were of peasant stock from the village of Hirtenfeld. His father, Andreas (b before 1618; d 1708), married twice, and Johann Joseph may have been his eldest child. Although a peasant, Andreas Fux was a parish official attached to the church at St Marein and came into contact with a number of musicians, among them the Graz organist J.H. Peintinger and the Kantor Joseph Keller, who probably influenced his son's early musical development. It is also possible, given his father's position, that Fux sang in the parish choir....