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Johann Heinrich Zang (Composer, Bach's Pupil)

Born:, April 15, 1733 - Zella St Blasii, near Gotha, Thuringia, Germany
Died: August 18, 1811 - Würzburg, Franconia, Northern Bavaria, Germany.

Johann Heinrich Zang was a German composer and organist. He was probably a pupil of J.S. Bach in Leipzig in 1748-1749; he spent some time in Coburg and took lessons from J.K. Heller before working as a clerk in Banz and organist at Schloss Hohenstein, near Coburg.

In 1751-1752 Johann Heinrich Zang was Kantor at Walsdorf near Bamberg, and then Kantor in Mainstockheim. Most of his music is lost; but his own writings make clear that he composed two complete cycles of cantatas for the church year and some keyboard music. The style of the surviving cantatas is typical of the generation after J.S. Bach, with recitatives and de capo arias, little choral polyphony and a preference for madrigalian poetry rather than biblical or chorale texts. Zang edited the collection Singende Muse am Mayn under the pseudonyms ‘Forceps’ in Würzburg and ‘Ighnaz’ in Nuremberg (both 1776). His Der vollkommene Orgelmacher oder Lehre von der Orgel und Windprobe, first published in Nuremberg in 1804 (later editions 1810 and 1829), provides an interesting insight into the preferred organ sound at the turn of the century. Zang favoured fundamental stops, rejecting Quint and Tierce stops alone or in combination; he largely abandoned the Werkprinzip and used the pedal division exclusively for the bass part, though the specifications that he quotes in his examples are more traditional.


?100 church cantatas, including:
Also hat Gott die Welt geliebet, S, S, T, B, SATB, 2 bassoon, 2 horn, timpani, strings, bc (1756)
Mache dich auf, werde licht, B, SATB, 2 horn, timpani strings, bc (1756)
Machet die Thore weit!, S, A, T, B, SATB, 2 horn, strings, bc (1758)
Halleluja! der Sieg ist da, T, B, SATB, 2 horn/trumpet, timpani, strings, bc (1759)
Es ist nur ein Gott, S, T, B, SATB, 2 horn, timpani, strings, bc (1771)
Nach dem Ungewitter lässest du die Sonne wieder scheinen, S, A, T, B, SATB, strings, bc (1774)
Denen zu Zion wird ein Erlöser kommen, S, A, T, B, SATB, strings, bc ( 1777)
all in D-Mbs
others lost

Keyboard: 6 sonatas
12 trios, organ with obbligato pedal: all lost


Source: Grove Music Online (Author: Johannes Heinrich, Accessed: June 18, 2014) Copyright © Oxford University Press 2007-2014
Contributed by
Thomas Braatz (June 2014)

Bach's Pupils: List of Bach's Pupils | Actual and Potential Non-Thomaner Singers and Players who participated in Bach’s Figural Music in Leipzig | Bach’s Pupils - Discussions: Part 1 | Part 2

Links to other Sites



EitnerQ | GerberNL
Artistisch-literarische Blätter von und für Franken, i (Würzburg, 1808), 135–7
H. Löffler: ‘Die Schüler J.S. Bachs und ihr Kreis’, Zeitschrift für evangelische Kirchenmusik, viii (1930), 130
Mitteilungen der Johann-Heinrich-Zang-Gesellschaft (Mainstockheim, 1986–)

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