Open main menu
PACHELBEL, Johann, eminent organist and composer, born at Nuremberg, Sept. 1, 1653, first learned the harpsichord and other instruments from H. Schwemmer, studied at Altdorf, Ratisbon, and then went to Vienna, where he became deputy-organist at the Cathedral.[1] He was then successively organist at the court of Eisenach in 1675, at the Predigerkirche in Erfurt in 1680, and at Stuttgart in 1690. In 1692 the approach of the French army drove him to Gotha, and in 1695 he became organist of Saint Sebald in his native city, where he remained till his death, March 3, 1706. Mattheson[2] states that he had the offer of an organist's post at Oxford in 1692, and was invited to return to Stuttgart on the cessation of hostilities, but declined to leave Nuremberg on account of his family. Of his compositions a few only are in print, viz. 'Musicalische Sterbens-Gedanken, 4 variirte Choräle' (Erfurt, 1683), composed during a visitation of the plague; 'VIII Choräle zum Praeambuliren' (Nuremberg, 1693); 'Hexachordum Apollinis, VI variirte Arien' (Nuremberg, 1699). In the Grand-ducal library at Weimar is the autograph of a 'Tabulatur-Buch' of hymns by Luther and others, with Choral-fugues, etc., by Johann Pachelbel, organist at St. Sebald, Nuremberg, 1704. Specimens of his vocal works are given by Von Winterfeld (Evang. Kirchengesang, ii. p. 201, etc.), and of his organ compositions by Körner (Orgelvirtuos) and Commer (Musica Sacra, vol. i.). A fugue in C will be found in the Auswahl vorz. Musikwerke No. 24.

[ C. F. P. ]


  1. The statement that he profited by hearing Kerf's playing is erroneous, as Kerl held the office of Imperial organist from 1680 to 1692.
  2. Grundlage, p. 244.