Marpurg, Friedrich Wilhelm



Eminent German writer on the theory of music; was born at Seehausen, in Altmark, Saxony. In 1746 he was appointed secretary to General Rothenburg at Paris, where he came in contact with Voltaire, d'Alembert and Rameau. He lived for a while in Berlin, then in Hamburg, and in 1763 he settled in Berlin to take charge of the government lottery. In 1750 he started a musical journal, entitled Der Kritische Musikus an der Spree, of which only fifty numbers were issued. In 1754 he began to publish Historisch-Kritsche Beytrage zur aufnahne der Musik, and from 1759 to 1764 he published Kritsche Briefe über die Tonkunst. He also wrote the celebrated Handbuch bei dem Generalbasse und der Composition, which exploits Rameau's system, Anleitung zur Singecomposition, Abhandlung von der Fuge, six sonatas for piano, and some sacred and secular songs. He was preparing a History of the Organ when he died.