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Scheidt, Samuel
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Biography
Scheidt, Samuel

(Born; Halle, bap. 3 Nov 1587; Died; there, 24 March 1654). German composer and organist. He was organist of the Moritzkirche, Halle, for several years, and studied with Sweelinck in Amsterdam before becoming Halle court organist in 1609. From 1619-20 he was also court Kapellmeister, but the musical establishment almost disbanded (because of the Thirty Years War) in 1625. In 1627-30 he was director of music in Halle, also composing for the Marktkirche. His duties as court Kapellmeister resumed in 1638. Scheidt was active as an organ expert and a teacher (notably of Adam Krieger), and knew both Schütz and Schein.Scheidt distinguished himself in both keyboard and sacred vocal music, in which he combined traditional counterpoint with the new Italian concerto style. Contrapuntal chorale settings are important among his Circa; 150 keyboard pieces. Some appear in his three-volume Tabulatura nova (1624), the first German publication of keyboard music to be in open score rather than in German organ tablature or in two-staff format; the collection also contains variations and liturgical pieces. Scheidt left some 160 sacred vocal works. His first book, Cantiones sacrae (1620), consists of polychoral motets, some of them based on chorales, and his second (1620) of large concertos with obbligato instrumental parts. Small concertos for few voices make up the four volumes of Geistliche Concerte (1631 -40). Scheidt also composed dances, canzonas, sinfonias etc and canons.His brother Gottfried (1593-1661) was organist at Altenburg and composer of sacred music.(c)Groves Dictionaries, MacMillan Publishers Limited, UK

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