Christoph Bernhard

Christoph Bernhard


• 1628 1692


A German composer, singer, theoretician and teacher who held positions in Dresden and Hamburg. Bernhard's genres of composition include many sacred works, masses, motets, and concertos. A collection of his concertos was "Geistliche Harmoniem," mostly biblical texts written in German for one to four vocal parts with two violins and a constant accompanying line. It is interesting that many of his works were collected throughout Germany. As a theorist his discourse "Tractatus compositionis augmentatus" categorizes music into three styles: according to the interrelatedness of text and notation; the venue of performance; and, the harmonic assonances or dissonances (the later being more specific). His primary distinctive emphasis regarded the figured bass. The "stylus gravis" was employed in church music, "stylus luxurians communis" dealt with text and music and applied to many different forms, and "stylus luxurians theatralis" was employed primarily for theatre music. His other treatises were so influential on other theoreticians that they went so far as to plagiarise Bernhard. The origin of many of his ideas came from the Italian style.