Fux, Johann Josef


German composer, writer and theorist; born near Gratz in Styria, a province of Austria. Nothing definite is known about his teachers. He published at Nuremberg, in 1707, a work entitled Concentum musico - instrumentale, in seven parts, and afterwards, in 1725, a Gradus ad Parnassum, which is considered a theoretical masterpiece. It is divided into two books, in which he gives the principles of musical composition, the use of the dissonances, expounds the doctrine of fugue, giving rules for its composition and writes of the modes of the ancient Greeks, treating also of the ecclesiastical style of music. Fux held many posts of importance, among others that of organist at Vienna in 1696, composer to the Court of Vienna in 1698, chapelmaster at St. Stephen's Cathedral from 1705 to 1715, vice-chapelmaster to the court in 1713. He succeeded Ziani as first chapelmaster two years later. He held this office under three emperors and received from them many favors. Fux dedicated his first work to Emperor Joseph I. He wrote a large number of compositions, and about four hundred and five of these are still in existence. His works include fifty masses; three requiems; fiftyseven vespers and psalms; ten oratorios; eighteen operas; the festival opera, Elisa, and other works.