Scheibe, Johann Adolf



German musician; born at Leipsic. His father was an organ-builder and Adolf early took up the study of harpsichord and organ for pleasure. Circumstances forcing him to turn to music for a livelihood, he taught harpsichord for a while, finally going to Hamburg with the idea of writing an opera, but the theatre was closed soon after his arrival. So in 1737 he began publishing a weekly paper called Der Kritische Musikus  (The Critical Musician). The publication was discontinued for a time, when Scheibe became director to the Margrave of Brandenburg-Culmbach in 1740, but in 1745, the year after he was made Court conductor at Copenhagen, he issued an enlarged edition containing a number of controversial essays. Scheibe was superseded as conductor by Sarti in 1758, but he received a pension and remained at the Danish capital until his death, at which he left incomplete a four-volume work on composition ("Qber die Musikalische Komposition). His Abhandlung uber das Recitativ (Treatise on Recitative) is in the second and third volumes of the Bibliothek der Künste und Wissenschaften. A Compendium musices theorico-practicum was left in manuscript, but he had published Abhandlung von den musikalischen Intervallen und Geschlechten, and Urstrung und Alter der Musik, insonderheit der Vocal musik, in which it was shown for the first time that part-music was the invention of northern peoples. Scheibe was a prolific composer, having written some two hundred church works; one hundred and fifty concertos for flute; and over thirty for violin; seventy symphonies; many trios and solos for clavier; sonatas; the Danish opera, Thusnelda; two oratorios; many cantatas; and songs.