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Johann Hermann Schein

1586-1630. German composer. With his two contemporaries, Schütz and Scheidt, he stands out as one of the great Lutheran musicians of the early Baroque era. He was one of a number of distinguished names who acted as cantor of the Thomasschule in Leipzig, the position held by J.S. Bach a century later. Along with Scheidt, he contributed largely to the development of the Lutheran chorale concertato, one of the forerunners of the church cantata of Bach's time. He applied the Italian style of the early Baroque to such works as these, breaking up the chorale melody into florid passages and employing dramatic declamatory sections. He was probably the first to publish a chorale book with just the melodies and the continuo bass, which later became the norm in such collections. Schein also holds an honored place in the development of the instrumental suite.