Pachelbel, Johann



German organist and composer; of great importance in the development of organ-music in his country. He was born at Nuremberg and studied first under Schwemmer, then at the University at Altdorf and later at the Gymnasium Poeticium in Regensburg, now Ratisbon. He next went to Vienna, where he became deputy organist at St. Steven's, from whose chapelmaster, Kerl, he received valuable instruction. After being Court organist at Eisenach he moved on to Erfurt, where he remained until 1690. He lived two years in Stuttgart and three years in Gotha, afterward returning to his native city, where he spent the remaining years of his life as organist of St. Sebaldus' Church. He was one of the most highly esteemed and influential writers of his time, and it was he who first gave clearness and symmetry to the fugue, laying the foundation of the modern tonal system and preparing the field for Bach. His forte was the organ choral, which he brought to a state bordering on perfection. An intimate friend of the Bach family, he taught Johann Christoph, the eldest son, and was a potent factor in the youthful development of Sebastian. His works include Musikalische Sterbensgedanken; Musikalische Ergotzen; six suites for two violins; Chorale zum praambuliren; and Hexachordum Apollinis, six sets of variations. His Tabulaturbuch geistlichen Gesange D Martini Lutheri, and some of his chorals are in manuscript in  the Grand Ducal Library at Weimar and other manuscripts are in the Royal Institute for Church-Music  at Berlin. Miscellaneous compositions of his are contained in the first volume of Commer's Musica Sacra.