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Johann Philipp Kirnberger and Authorship


It has long been known that Johann Philipp Kirnberger received writing assistance from others (notably Johann Abraham Peter Schulz) in preparing his publications, but examination reveals it to have been more extensive than previously thought. While Kirnberger has been granted credit for all the music articles in the first volume of Johann Georg Sulzer’s Allgemeine Theorie der schönen Künste, major contradictions with Kirnberger’s professed views appear in some articles, and others reflect an expertise in practical music that Kirnberger lacked. Some contemporaries credited Johann Friedrich Agricola with many of the music articles in Sulzer’s first volume. This article examines the question, as well as the role that Schulz and others played in Kirnberger’s own publications.

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