Walther, Johann Gottfried



Compiler of a valuable musical lexicon, and in composition and variations of chorales on the organ accounted second to Bach only. Was born at Erfurt. After studying organ with Jacob Adlung, Johann Bernhard Bach and Kretschmar he became organist at the Thomas Church of Erfurt in 1702, and in 1707 was appointed town organist at Weimar, where he also taught the Duke's children and in 1720 was made Court musician. Although he was related to John Sebastian Bach and intimate with him during his residence at Weimar, in his Musikalisches Lexikon oder musikalische Bibliothek, he gives him but scant notice. This work combined biography, bibliography and dictionary of musical terms and is extremely valuable as the first lexicon of its kind. Among his other writings are Ancient and Modern Musical Library, or Musical Lexicon, and he composed a great number of very fine fugues and chorals, besides toccatas, preludes and other pieces for organ.