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Martin Zeuner (Composer)

Born: 1554 - Mupperg, near Coburg, Bavaria, Germany
Died: December 1619 (buried: December 13, 1619) - Ansbach, Bavaria, Germany

Martin Zeuner was a German composer and organist. He was appointed to the collegiate church of St Gumbertus at Ansbach on June 16, 1576 with a yearly salary of 50 florins and remained at this post until his retirement. On June 20, 1610 he was called to play the positive, regals and other instruments at the Brandenburg-Ansbach court; he was entrusted with composing the ceremonial music for the marriage of Margrave Joachim Ernst in 1612. He retired on September 17, 1616 after playing a leading role in the musical life of Ansbach for 40 years. Municipal tax records show that he was involved in several disputes concerning the payment of taxes and his various dealings in wine, and on October 5, 1615 the margrave settled in his favour a quarrel concerning singing and organ playing in which he had become involved with the Konrektor.

Martin Zeuner's German songs (1617) show the influence both of prominent earlier German composers of such pieces, notably Georg Forster and Leonard Lechner, and of such Italians as Giovanni Giacomo Gastoldi, Marenzio and Orazio Vecchi. They are predominantly contrapuntal, as are some of the chorale settings (1616). Other chorales, however, are chordal pieces in a more modern style with very simple harmonies; the frequent modulation and the cadential appoggiaturas anticipate J.S. Bach. Zeuner's wedding music (1612), for 12 and 24 voices, is in the polychoral Venetian tradition adopted in Germany by such composers as Hans Leo Hassler and Leonard Lechner, who may have influenced him.


[17] Cantilena pia in solemnitatem nuptialem … Henricii Wilhelmis Comitis Solmensis, 12vv (Ansbach, 1612)
Votum musicale in nuptias D.J. Ernesti, Marchionis Brandenburgiensis, 24vv (Ansbach, 1612)
82 schöne, geistliche Psalmen, 5vv (Nuremberg, 1616); ed. in PÄMw, xxviii (1904/R)
Schöne teutsche weltliche Stücklein, 4, 5vv (Nuremberg, 1617)


Source: Grove Music Online, © Oxford University Press 2006, acc. 5/10/06 (Author: E. Fred Flindell)
Contributed by
Thomas Braatz (May 2006)

Use of Chorale Melodies in his works


Chorale Melody


Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ, 5-pt setting

Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ


Vater unser im Himmelreich Setting for 5 voices appearing in “82 Schöne Geistl. Psalmen, nach dem Choral oder Thon 5stimmg, Nürnberg 1616

Vater unser im Himmelreich


Links to other Sites



BlumeEK | EitnerQ | GerberNL (‘Zeuner, Maximus’)
G. Schmidt: Die Musik am Hofe der Markgrafen von Brandenburg-Ansbach (
Kassel, 1956), 40ff

Biographies of Poets & Composers: Main Page | A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z
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