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Samuel Scheidt

1587-1654. German composer. Most of his creative life was spent as organist of the Moritzkirche in Halle. He studied organ in Amsterdam with Sweelinck and ranks as one of the first great masters of the organ-chorale (chorale prelude). He is perhaps the first composer of such pieces whose works have more than an antiquarian interest to the church organist today. His Tabulatura nova (1624) is the first great collection of organ music in Germany to use staff notation exclusively instead of letter tablature. He also wrote many choral concertatos based on the Lutheran chorales. Later he published the Görlitz Tabulaturbuch (1650) containing 100 chorales in four-part harmony, ostensibly for the purpose of accompanying congregational singing. It is the first known book of its kind. He is in the first generation of great N German organists that leads up to Buxtehude and so to Bach.