Kirnberger, Johann Philipp


German musician, composer and theoretical writer; born at Saalfeld, in Thuringia, and died at Berlin. He studied the organ under Kellner and Gerber, and the violin under Meil and was later a pupil of Bach. He worked for a number of years in Poland, at one time as musical director of a convent at Lemberg, and then went back to Germany and took up the violin again as a pupil of Zickler at Dresden. In 1751 he entered the service of Frederick the Great at Berlin as violinist, and later that of Princess Amalie as chapelmaster. In her service he remained until he died. Zelter, Schulz and Fasch were his pupils. Kirnberger labored all his life under the mistaken idea that he had reduced all music to two chords, but his ideas  were of no value. Die Kunst des reinen Satzes is his only book on theory which has lived. Many of his musical compositions, as motets, cantatas and fugues, may be found at the Imperial Library at Berlin.