The Life and Works of Gottlieb Muffat (1690-1770) - Alison J. Dunlop - ebook

The Life and Works of Gottlieb Muffat (1690-1770) ebook

Alison J. Dunlop



Gottlieb Muffat (1690-1770) has been heralded as one of the first composers of keyboard music to display 'distinctly Austrian traits'. In light of both the extent and quality of his œuvre, he was undoubtedly the single most important composer of keyboard music in Vienna in the first half of the eighteenth century. A prodigious child, he performed for the Emperor when he was around ten years old and his formative years were shaped by two of the most renowned composers of the period: his father Georg and Johann Joseph Fux. Muffat served as organist at the Viennese imperial court for over half a century and was responsible for teaching several members of the imperial family. This book explores both his career and quotidian existence and presents much hitherto unknown information about other members of this musical family. A thematic catalogue, which includes descriptions of all known manuscript sources of his music, comprises the second part of this study and serves to highlight the significance of his output and the reception and transmission of his work.

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PART I:A Documentary Biography

PART II:Catalogue of Works and Sources

Copy-editing: Inge Praxl, HOLLITZER Wissenschaftsverlag (Vienna, Austria)Layout and Cover: Barbara Ebeling (Vienna, Austria)Printed and bound in the EU

Alison J. Dunlop: The Life and Works of Gottlieb Muffat (1690—1770)Part I: A Documentary BiographyPart II: Catalogue of Works and SourcesVienna: HOLLITZER Wissenschaftsverlag, 2013

Cover image: Gottlieb Muffat’s signature, detail from Testament Heinrich Holzhauser. Wiener Stadt- und Landesarchiv (Alte Ziviljustiz, A1 – Testamente: 3948/1726)

© HOLLITZER Wissenschaftsverlag, Wien

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a division ofHOLLITZER Baustoffwerke Graz GmbHStadiongasse 6-8, A-1010 WienAustria

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ISBN 978-3-99012-084-2 hbkISBN 978-3-99012-085-9 pdfISBN 978-3-99012-086-6 e-pub


PART I: A Documentary Biography





Muffat family genealogy

Biographical sources

The father: Georg Muffat

Gottlieb Muffat

Gottlieb Muffat’s children

Gottlieb Muffat’s siblings



Cultivation of keyboard music in Vienna

Compositional output

Reception and transmission of works


Discussion of individual sources


PART II: Catalogue of Works and Sources



Notes on usage

Works printed during Gottlieb Muffat’s lifetime (A)

Keyboard partitas (B)

Anonymous partitas of uncertain authorship (App B)

Other keyboard works (C)

Chamber works (D)

Works in the archive of the Berlin Sing-Akademie by Georg Muffat

Index of works arranged by genre and key


Notes on usage

Index of sources and works

Source descriptions

Index of copyists

Index of provenance



Index of musical sources

Index of names

PART I:A Documentary Biography


This book originated as a project on copyists of keyboard music active in Vienna during Gottlieb Muffat’s lifetime. Subsequent source finds, however, have taken my research in different directions and this study now explores various aspects of Muffat’s biography and works.1 In December 2007, a number of hitherto unknown music manuscripts by both Gottlieb and Georg Muffat in the archive of the Berlin Sing-Akademie came to my attention. The size of this collection of Muffat manuscripts is unparalleled and it soon became apparent that it would not be possible to evaluate these sources without access to a thematic catalogue. Although Friedrich W. Riedel had catalogued Gottlieb Muffat’s music approximately fifty years prior to the commencement of this study and his system is now well established, his catalogue is only publicly available in outline form (in Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart2 and in The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians3). It was therefore necessary to prepare a new catalogue of works and sources for this study, the product of which can be found in the second part of the Muffat Compendium (The Life and Works of Gottlieb Muffat (1690–1770): Catalogue of Works and Sources). A comparative study soon revealed the significance of the Muffat items in the Sing-Akademie collection: the majority of works are unique and almost all copies are the most reliable extant sources of pieces for which there are concordances. This naturally opens up many possibilities for further research. The collection allows us to reconsider Muffat’s repertoire in terms of his treatment of genre, style, influences, individuality and chronology. It also affirms Muffat’s position as the most eminent composer of keyboard music in the first half of the eighteenth century in Vienna.

As the structure of my catalogue had been determined before Professor Riedel kindly granted me access to consult his handwritten catalogue,4 the two catalogues vary considerably in their approach to classifying Muffat’s music. Muffat’s output is largely confined to keyboard music and very few works can be dated. During his lifetime only two works were published (these were not assigned opus numbers) and the composer does not appear to have catalogued his own work. For these reasons, the catalogue could not be based on a conventional model, i. e. works could not be ordered by chronology, nor could they be easily divided into secular and sacred output or even strictly arranged by genre. Riedel’s catalogue groups works thematically and a continuous numbering sequence is employed. I decided to divide the catalogue into four distinct sections—printed works, keyboard partitas, other keyboard works, and chamber works—in which pieces are grouped as sets (where the sources would imply Muffat intended them to be so) or by tonality. A separate section is dedicated to the two printed works as they are among the very few which can be confidently attributed to Muffat—the authenticity of many other works is a matter of contention as stylistic and source-based evidence is not always sufficient to allow one to establish authorship.

All manuscript sources of Muffat’s music were personally consulted for this study with the exception of those which could not be located when I was conducting archival research (in these three instances microfilm copies were used). In addition to providing a synthesis of literature on Muffat source studies, a number of secondary sources, such as auction, library and collectors’ catalogues and letters, have been used in order to help unravel the transmission history of Muffat’s music in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. A detailed description of sources is found in the second volume of the Muffat Compendium and hypotheses about the provenance and dissemination of manuscripts are discussed in the main text.

The focus of my research shifted once again when I began to pursue Gottlieb Muffat’s biography. Curiosity about how a composer and musician of Muffat’s stature could have been almost erased from history was the motivation for research in this area. The starting point was to establish an accurate chronology of Muffat’s life but it soon became clear that all traces of the composer had not disappeared: Not dozens, but hundreds, of documents pertaining to Gottlieb Muffat and his family have survived within various institutions—a striking contrast to the relatively few extant music manuscripts. Yet in spite of the large number of biographical sources, very little has been discovered about his private life. As is the case with his teacher Johann Joseph Fux, no personal correspondence, diaries, or contemporary biographies are known; all that survives are a few untrustworthy anecdotes and so in this respect Muffat ‘counts among the lost’.5

My research into Gottlieb Muffat’s biography can be divided into two separate strands. The first is an investigation of Muffat family biography within social and historical contexts. For this aspect of my research, church records and legal documents were the primary sources. From these it was possible to glean information about hitherto unknown members of the Muffat family and provide new insights Gottlieb Muffat’s familial circles, social status, and quotidian existence. In spite of numerous articles and several theses dedicated to Muffat, what is commonly known about him is restricted to the very brief entries found in reference works such as The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and Die Musik in Geschichte und Gegenwart. This book provides documentary evidence which clarifies the ambiguities and discrepancies found in these articles as well as providing new information about Muffat’s career, salary and travels.

The second strand of biographical research concerns Gottlieb Muffat’s long service at the Viennese imperial court. Musical life at the Viennese imperial court in the eighteenth century has to date been investigated only sporadically. In spite of source-based studies by scholars such as Ludwig von Köchel, Herwig Knaus, Friedrich W. Riedel and Andrea Sommer-Mathis,6 many aspects of musical practice at the Viennese court remain unstudied. It was my aim to document systematically all references to members of the immediate family found in Viennese imperial court records. This resulted in obtaining a more accurate and detailed picture of (primarily musical) life at court during Muffat’s years of service than depicted by Köchel. These documents provide information such as the hierarchical structure of musicians at court, salaries, aspects of ceremony and musicians’ abilities.

1The doctoral dissertation entitled ‘Gottlieb Muffat (1690–1770): A Companion to the Sources’ (Queen’s University Belfast, 2010) serves as the basis for the Muffat Compendium.

2Riedel, Friedrich W., ‘Muffat, Gottlieb’, MGG (i), vol. 9, cols. 919–24.

3Wollenberg, Susan, ‘Muffat, Gottlieb’, Grove Music Online (accessed 1 October 2007).

4Card catalogue in the possession of Professor Friedrich W. Riedel (Sonthofen).

5cf. Köchel, Fux, p. vi.

6Köchel, Fux; Köchel, Hofmusikkapelle; Knaus, Herwig, Die Musiker im Archivbestand des kaiserlichen Obersthofmeisteramts (1637–1705) (Vienna: Böhlau, 1967–69); Knaus, Herwig, Wiener Hofquartierbücher als biographische Quelle für Musiker des 17. Jahrhunderts (Vienna: Böhlau 1965), pp. 178–206; Riedel, Friedrich W., Kirchenmusik am Hofe Karls VI. (1711–1740): Untersuchungen zum Verhältnis von zeremoniell und musikalischem Stil im Barockzeitalter (Munich: Musikverlag Emil Katzbichler, 1977); Sommer-Mathis, Andrea, Die Tänzer am Wiener Hofe im Spiegel der Obersthofmeisteramtsakten und Hofparteienprotokolle bis 1740 (Vienna: Generaldirektion des Österreichischen Staatsarchivs, 1992).


I am grateful to many people for contributing to the completion of this monograph. The Department of Employment and Learning in Northern Ireland, the Society for Musicology in Ireland, and Queen’s University Belfast provided the necessary funding for this research.

In Vienna, there are numerous institutions and individuals to whom I am very grateful. The staff at the Österreichisches Staatsarchiv, in particular those at the Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv, who dealt with my very many diverse enquiries with expertise and courtesy and made it a pleasure to spend so much time there; Reinhard H. Gruber at the Archiv der Metropolitan- und Domkirche zu St. Stephan in Wien for his kindness and granting ‘one last appointment’ on many occasions; the staff at the Archiv der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, especially Professor Otto Biba who kindly gave of his time during my visits; Father Christian Fichtinger for enabling my research at the Archiv im Minoritenkonvent zu Wien; the staff of the Wiener Stadt- und Landesarchiv and the Wienbibliothek im Rathaus and Österreichische Nationalbibliothek for their help during my time spent there; and the secretaries at the archives of the Michaelerkirche, Augustinerkirche and Schottenkirche, who were prompt to respond to my enquiries. I am also indebted to my colleagues at the Don Juan Archiv and Hollitzer Wissenschaftsverlag for making the publication of this research possible.

In other parts of Austria, Dr. Norbert Allmer provided me with much information and assistance at the Diözesanarchiv in Graz; Dr. Elka Hammer-Luza of the Steiermärkisches Landesarchiv could not have been more accommodating in dealing with my requests and helped me trace the Muffat family into the nineteenth century; Professor Friedrich W. Riedel and Brother Karlmann Tanzer made my visit to the Benediktinerstift Göttweig one of the most memorable of all during the course of my studies; Dr. Ulrike Engelsberger kindly conducted research for me at the Landesarchiv in Salzburg; and the staff of the Archiv der Erzdiözese Salzburg were very helpful during my visit.

In Germany, there are also many people to whom I wish to express my gratitude. Many months were spent at Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin, where the researchers and librarians dealt with my many requests with promptness and courtesy; I am particularly grateful to Dr. Marina Schieke-Gordienko who showed much interest in my work and shared her expertise with me; the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin kindly provided me with copies for my research and Dr. Axel Fischer was always willing to deal with my enquiries; Dr. Jürgen Neubacher of the Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Hamburg gave me useful information about sources in Hamburg; Brother Petrus Dischler of the Erzabtei Beuron enabled my visit to the most idyllically situated of archives; Dr. Herbert W. Wurster of the Bischöfliches Ordinariat Passau, Archiv des Bistums dealt very speedily with my enquiries and very kindly provided copies; and the staff at the Bayerische Staatsbibliothek were very attentive during my time spent there.

Elsewhere, Dr. Balázs Mikusi could not have been more accommodating both during my visit to the National Széchényi Library in Budapest and in later correspondence. In the Czech Republic, the staff at the Kromeříž, Arcibiskupský zamek, hudební sbírka were very helpful during my short visit; I am also grateful to the staff of the Moravské zemské museum and the Moravský zemský archive v Brně; Dr. Jana Perutková must also be thanked for sharing her expertise about Questenberg family documents; I also thank the New York Public Library for providing copies for my research.

There are a great number of other individuals to whom I am indebted and cannot adequately express my sincere gratitude. This project would not have been possible without the help of Professor Friedrich W. Riedel, who was always most generous with his time and expertise; Dr. Susan Wollenberg was a great source of encouragement, particularly during the early stages of this project; it was such a pleasure to have made the acquaintance of Professor Thomas Hochradner, I am very grateful to him for his advice and stimulating conversations; I am lucky to enjoy the friendship of Professor Szymon Paczkowski, who has advised me on many matters; I also thank Dr. Michael Maul for his help, friendship and inspiration; Dr. Michael Lorenz was exceedingly generous in sharing his archival finds with me, offered advice on the most diverse aspects of biographical research and gave of his time to proofread the manuscript of this book; Dr. Ladislav Kačic kindly shared his research and expertise with me; I treasure the support, collaboration and sharp wit of Professor Glen Wilson.

I would also like to thank all the staff at the School of Music and Sonic Arts, Queen’s University Belfast; I could not have asked for a better Doktorvater, Professor Yo Tomita, and am equally grateful to my second supervisor Professor Ian Woodfield for his advice, encouragement and calming reassurance. I could also not forget the help of visiting Professor Robin Leaver.

I hope that my family and friends know how much I have appreciated their love and patience. Lastly, I thank all the people I have been fortunate to have met to date on my quest to discover Muffatiana. They have made this journey an unforgettable one.




Bibliothek des Bischöflichen Seckauer Ordinariats, Graz


Steiermärkisches Landesarchiv, Graz


Benediktinerstift Göttweig, Musikarchiv, Furth bei Göttweig


Archiv der Erzdiözese Salzburg, Salzburg


Benediktiner-Abtei, Bibliothek, Seckau


Landesarchiv, Salzburg


Österreichisches Staatsarchiv, Vienna


St. Augustin, Pfarrarchiv, Vienna


St. Stephan, Dompfarre, Vienna


Archiv der Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde in Wien, Vienna


Minoritenkonvent, Klosterbibliothek und Archiv, Vienna


Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, Musiksammlung, Vienna


Wiener Stadt- und Landesarchiv, Vienna


Wienbibliothek im Rathaus, Vienna


St. Michael, Pfarrarchiv, Vienna


Ältere Zeremonialakten (in HHStA OMeA)


Bayerisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Munich


Conservatoire Royal de Musique, Bibliothèque, Brussels


Bibliothèque Royale Albert, Brussels


Öffentliche Bibliothek der Universität Basel, Musiksammlung, Basel


Moravské zemské museum, Brno


Knihovna arcibiskupského zamku, Kromeříž


Narodní muzeum – Muzeum České hudby, hudební archiv, Prague


Staats- und Stadtbibliothek, Augsburg


Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin Preußischer Kulturbesitz, Musikabteilung


Bibliothek der Benediktiner-Erzabtei, Beuron


Universität der Künste, Universitätsbibliothek, Berlin


Staatlisches Institut für Musikforschung, Berlin


Sing-Akademie zu Berlin (in D-B)


Sächsische Landesbibliothek – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek, Dresden


Sächsisches Hauptstaatsarchiv, Dresden


Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek Carl von Ossietzky, Musikabteilung, Hamburg


Bach-Archiv, Leipzig


Städtische Bibliotheken, Musikbibliothek, Leipzig


Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, Musikabteilung, Munich


Archiv des Bistums, Passau


Bischöfliche Zentralbibliothek, Proske-Musikbibliothek, Regensburg


Det kongelige Bibliotek Slotsholmen, Copenhagen


Collection André Meyer (in the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département de la Musique), Paris


Finanz- und Hofkammerarchiv, Alte Hofkammer, Hoffinanz (in AT-OeStA)


Finanz- und Hofkammerarchiv, Sonderbestände, Sammlungen und Selekte (in AT-OeStA)


Åbo (Turku), Sibeliusmuseum Musikvetenskapliga Institutionen vid Åbo Akademi, Bibliotek & Arkiv, Åbo


Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge


Royal College of Music, London


Akten des Geheimen Kammerzahlamts (in HHStA HA)


Magyar Tudomanyos Akadémia Zenetudomanyi Intézet Könyvtara, Budapest


Orszagos Széchényi Könyvtar, Budapest


Somogyi Könyvtar, Szeged


Haus-, Hof- und Staatsarchiv, Vienna


Hofmusikkapelle Akten (in HHStA HA)


Hof- und Kameralzahlamtsbücher (in AT-OeStA FHKA SUS)


Hofwirtschaftsamt (Hofkontrolloramt), Sonderreihe (Hofkontrolloramts-Ordonanzbücher) (in HHStA HA)


Biblioteca privata P. C. Remondini, Genova


Gemeentemuseum, Den Haag


Instituut vor Muziekwetenschap der Rijksuniversiteit, Utrecht


Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (excluding the Musiksammlung)


Akten des Obersthofmarschallamts (in HHStA)


Obersthofmeisteramt (in HHStA)


Obersthofmeisteramtsakten (in HHStA HA)

OMeA Prot.

Obersthofmeisteramt Hofparteienprotokolle und Geschäftsbücher (Protokoll in Hofparteiensachen) (in HHStA HA)


Protocollum mortuorum (in A-Wd)


Archív mesta Bratislavy, Bratislava


Univerzitna knižica, Bratislava


Totenbeschauprotokolle (in A-Wsa 1.1.10 Totenbeschreibamt)


Harvard University, Harvard College Library, Cambridge, MA


New York Public Library at Lincoln Center, Music Division, New York


University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Philadelphia Sibley


Music Library, Eastman School of Music, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York


Library of Congress, Music Division, Washington


Hofzeremonielldepartement (in HHStA OMeA)


Zeremonialprotokolle (in HHStA OMeA)



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Rampe, Siegbert, ‘Georg Muffat’, MGG (ii), Personenteil, vol. 12, cols. 769–75.

Raynaud, Savoyische Einwanderung

Raynaud, Franziska, Savoyische Einwanderungen in Deutschland (15. bis 19. Jahrhundert) (Neustadt an der Aisch: Degener & Co., 2001).

Riedel, Muffat Werkverzeichnis (R)

Riedel, Friedrich W., Muffat Werkverzeichnis (MS in author’s possession)

Riedel, Einfluss

Riedel, Friedrich W., ‘Der Einfluss der italienischen Klaviermusik des 17. Jahrhunderts auf die Entwicklung der Musik für Tasteninstrumente in Deutschland während der ersten Hälfte des 18. Jahrhunderts’, Studien zur italienisch-deutschen Musikgeschichte 5 (1968), pp. 18–33.

Riedel, Fischer

Riedel, Friedrich W., ‘Johann Caspar Ferdinand Fischers Kompositionen für Tasteninstrumente in ihrer Bedeutung für die Stilentwicklung am Wiener Hof’, J. C. F. Fischer in seiner Zeit. Tagungsbericht Rastatt 1988, ed. Ludwig Finscher (Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, pp. 45–54.

Riedel, Fuchs/Bach

Riedel, Friedrich W., ‘Aloys Fuchs als Sammler Bachscher Werke’, Bach-Jahrbuch 47 (1961), pp. 83–99.

Riedel, Fux

Fux, Johann Joseph, Werke für Tasteninstrumente, ed. Friedrich W. Riedel (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1964).

Riedel, Kirchenmusik

Riedel, Friedrich W., Kirchenmusik am Hofe Karls VI. (1711–1740): Untersuchungen zum Verhältnis von zeremoniell und musikalischem Stil im Barockzeitalter (Munich: Musikverlag Emil Katzbichler, 1977).

Riedel, Minoritenkonvent

Riedel, Friedrich W., Das Musikarchiv im Minoritenkonvent zu Wien (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1963).

Riedel, Römische

Riedel, Friedrich W., ‘Johann Joseph Fux und die römische Palestrina-Tradition’, Die Musikforschung 14/1 (1961), pp. 14–22.

Riedel, Wiener Minoriten

Riedel, Friedrich W., ‘Die Wiener Minoriten und ihre Musikpflege’, Musik und Geschichte. Gesammelte Aufsätze und Vorträge zur musikalischen Landeskunde. Studien zur Landes- und Sozialgeschichte der Musik 10 (Munich: Emil Katzbichler, 1989), pp. 100–106.

Riemann, Geschichte

Riemann, Hugo, Geschichte der Musik seit Beethoven (1800–1900) (Berlin: W. Spemann, 1901).

Rohling, Viennese Bruderschaften

Rohling, Geraldine M. ‘Exequial and Votive Practices of the Viennese Bruderschaften’ (PhD thesis, The Catholic University of America, 1996).

SA Katalog

Fischer, Axel, Matthias Kornemann et al., Das Archiv der Sing-Akademie zu Berlin. Katalog (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2010).

Sachs, Berlin

Sachs, Curt, Musikgeschichte der Stadt Berlin bis zum Jahre 1800: Stadtpfeifer, Kantoren und Organisten an den Kirchen städtischen Patronats nebst Beiträgen zur allgemeinen Musikgeschichte Berlins (Berlin: Gebrüder Paetel, 1908 [reprint Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 1980]).

Schaal, Fischhof

Schaal, Richard, ‘Dokumente zur Wiener Musiksammlung von Joseph Fischhof: Ihre Erwerbung durch die Berliner Staatsbibliothek’, Mozart Jahrbuch 1967 (1968), pp. 339–47.

Scheutz/Wührer, Instruktionsbücher

Scheutz, Martin and Jakob Wührer, ‘Dienst, Pflicht, Ordnung und „Gute Policey“. Instruktionsbücher am Wiener Hof im 17. und 18. Jahrhundert’, Der Wiener Hof im Spiegel der Zeremonial-Protokolle (1652–1800). Eine Annäherung, ed. Irmgard Pangerl, Martin Scheutz and Thomas Winkelbauer (Innsbruck: Studien Verlag, 2007), pp. 15–228.

Schmitz, Georg Muffat

Schmitz, Heinz-Walter (ed.), Georg Muffat. Ein reichsfürstlicher Kapellmeister zwischen den Zeiten (Passau: Karl Stutz, 2006).

Schmitz, Passauer Musikgeschichte

Schmitz, Heinz-Walter, Passauer Musikgeschichte. Die Kirchenmusik zur Zeit der Fürstbischöfe und in den Klöstern St. Nikola, Vornbach und Fürstenzell (Passau: Karl Stutz, 1999).


Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus, Neue Ausgabe sämtlicher Werke, X/33: Dokumentation der Autographen Überlieferung. Abteilung 2: Wasserzeichen-Katalog, ed. Alan Tyson (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1992).

Vogeleis, Elsaß

Vogeleis, Martin, Quellen und Bausteine zu einer Geschichte der Musik und des Theaters im Elsaß 500–1800 (Strasbourg: F. X. Le Roux & Co., 1911).

Walther, Musicalisches Lexicon

Walther, Johann Gottfried, Musicalisches Lexicon oder musicalische Bibliothec [...] (Leipzig: Wolffgang Deer, 1732).

Weigl, Demographischer Wandel

Weigl, Andreas, Demographischer Wandel und Modernisierung in Wien (Wien: Pichler, 2000).

Weinmann, Traeg

Weinmann, Alexander, Johann Traeg: Die Musikalienverzeichnisse von 1799 und 1804 (Handschriften und Sortiment) (Vienna: Universal Edition, 1973).

Wollenberg, Frescobaldi

Wollenberg, Susan, ‘A note on three fugues attributed to Frescobaldi’, The Musical Times 116/1584 (Feb., 1975), pp. 133–35.

Wollenberg, Jupiter theme

Wollenberg, Susan, ‘The Jupiter theme: new light on its creation’, The Musical Times 116/1591 (Sep., 1975), pp. 781–83.

Wollenberg, Viennese

Wollenberg, Susan, ‘Viennese keyboard music in the reign of Karl VI (1712-40): Gottlieb Muffat and his contemporaries’ (DPhil, Oxford, 1974).

Wurster, Bistum Passau

Wurster, Herbert W., Das Bistum Passau und seine Geschichte, vol. 3 (Strasbourg: Editions du Signe, 2002).

Wurzbach, Biographisches Lexikon

Wurzbach, Constantin, Biographisches Lexikon des Kaiserthums Oesterreich (Vienna: Universitäts-Buchdruckerei, 1856–91).


72 Versetl

Muffat, Gottlieb, 72 Versetl sammt 12 Toccaten(besonders zum Kirchen-Dienst bey Choral-Aemtern und Vesperen dienlich) (Vienna: Franz Ambrosius Dietell, 1726).

72 Versetl (Broude facsimile)

Muffat, Gottlieb, 72 Versetl sammt 12 Toccaten(besonders zum Kirchen-Dienst bey Choral-Aemternund Vesperen dienlich) (Vienna: Franz Ambrosius Dietell, 1726. Facsimile edition by Broude Brothers, Monuments of Music and Music Literature in Facsimile I/18, 1967).

Adler, 72 Versetl

Muffat, Gottlieb, 12 Toccaten und 72 Versetl für Orgel und Klavier, ed. Guido Adler (Vienna: Universal-Edition, 1922 [= DTÖ 58]).

Adler, Componimenti

Muffat, Gottlieb, Componimenti Musicali per il Cembalo, ed. Guido Adler (Vienna: Artaria, 1896 [= DTÖ 7]).

Benedikt, Ricercars and Canzonas

Muffat, Gottlieb, Die 32 Ricercaten und 19 Canzonen, ed. Erich Benedikt (Vienna: Doblinger, 2003).

Benedikt, Toccatas and Capriccios

Muffat, Gottlieb, Die 24 Toccaten mit Capriccios, ed. Erich Benedikt (Vienna: Doblinger, 2005).

Chrysander, Componimenti

Muffat, Gottlieb, Componimenti Musicali per il Cembalo, ed. Friedrich Chrysander (Leipzig: Deutsche Händelgesellschaft, 1896).

Componimenti Musicali

Muffat, Gottlieb, Componimenti Musicali per il Cembalo (Augsburg: Johann Christian Leopold, ca. 1736–39).

Componimenti Musicali (Broude facsimile)

Muffat, Gottlieb, Componimenti Musicali per il Cembalo (Augsburg: Johann Christian Leopold, ca. 1736–39. Facsimile edition by Broude Brothers, Monuments of Music and Music Literature in Facsimile I/8, 1967).

Haselböck, B flat major Concerto

Muffat, Gottlieb, Konzert B-Dur, ed. Martin Haselböck (Vienna: Universal Edition, 2001).

Haselböck, C major Concerto

Muffat, Gottlieb, Konzert C-Dur, ed. Martin Haselböck (Vienna: Universal Edition, 2001).

Haselböck, F major Concerto

Muffat, Gottlieb, Konzert F-Dur, ed. Martin Haselböck (Vienna: Universal Edition, 2001).

Hogwood, Handel/Muffat Fugues

Muffat, Gottlieb, George Frideric Handel 6 Fugues for Keyboard (1735) HWV 605–610 ‘mises dans une autre applicature pour la facilité de la main’ by Gottlieb Muffat (1736), ed. Christopher Hogwood (Bologna: UT Orpheus Edizioni, 2008).

Hogwood, Handel/Muffat Suites

Muffat, Gottlieb, George Frideric Handel 8 Suites for Keyboard (1720) HWV 426–433 ‘mises dans une autre applicature pour la facilité de la main’ by Gottlieb Muffat (1736), ed. Christopher Hogwood (Bologna: UT Orpheus Edizioni, 2007).

Hogwood, Componimenti

Muffat, Gottlieb, Componimenti Musicali (1739) for Harpsichord, ed. Christopher Hogwood (Bologna: UT Orpheus Edizioni, 2009).

Kneihs, Sonata Pastorale

Muffat, Gottlieb, Sonata Pastorale a 3, ed. Hans Maria Kneihs (Vienna: Doblinger, 1970).

Löschenkohl, 72 Versetl

Muffat, Gottlieb, XII kleine Fugen sammt 2 Toccaten (Vienna: Hieronymus Löschenkohl, [s. d.] (A-Wgm Q 14379). Fascimile edition by Fuzeau, 2007).

Luntz, Concerti grossi

Muffat, Georg, Concerti grossi I, ed. Erwin Luntz (Vienna: Artaria, 1904 [= DTÖ 23]).


Johann-Sebastian-Bach-Institut Göttingen and Bach-Archiv Leipzig (eds), Johann Sebastian Bach. Neue Ausgabe Sämtlicher Werke (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1954f.)


Kritischer Bericht to NBA (see above)

Rampe, Ebner/Muffat

Muffat, Georg and Wolfgang Ebner, Sämtliche Werke für Clavier (Orgel), ed. Siegbert Rampe (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2003–04).

Riedel, Preludes

Muffat, Gottlieb, Zwölf Kleine Praeludien, ed. Friedrich W. Riedel (Cologne: Fr. Kistner & C. F. W. Siegel & Co., 1960).

Riedel, 6 Fugues

Muffat, Gottlieb, Sechs Fugen, ed. Friedrich W. Riedel (Cologne: Fr. Kistner & C. F. W. Siegel & Co., 1958).

Riedel, Toccatas and Capriccios 1

Muffat, Gottlieb, Drei Toccaten und Capriccios, ed. Friedrich W. Riedel (Cologne: Fr. Kistner & C. F. W. Siegel & Co., 1959).

Riedel, Toccatas and Capriccios 2

Muffat, Gottlieb, Drei Toccaten und Capriccios, ed. Friedrich W. Riedel (Cologne: Fr. Kistner & C. F. W. Siegel & Co., 1960).

Rietsch, Florilegium I

Muffat, Georg, Florilegium Primum für Streichinstrumente, ed. Heinrich Rietsch (Vienna: Artaria, 1894 [= DTÖ 2]).

Rietsch, Florilegium II

Muffat, Georg, Florilegium Secundum für Streichinstrumente, ed. Heinrich Rietsch (Vienna: Artaria, 1895 [= DTÖ 4]).

Schächer, Beuron

Muffat, Gottlieb, Zwei Partiten (a-moll/C-Dur) für Cembalo (Orgel, Klavier), ed. Raimund Schächer (Stuttgart: Cornetto-Verlag, 2008).

Schenk, Armonico tributo

Muffat, Georg, Armonico tributo 1682. Sechs Concerti grossi 1701, ed. Erich Schenk (Vienna: Universal-Edition, 1953 [= DTÖ 89]).

Upmeyer, 72 Versetl

Muffat, Gottlieb, 72 Versetl samt 12 Toccaten (1726), ed. Walter Upmeyer (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 1952).

Walter, Organ Masses

Muffat, Gottlieb, Missa in F et C, ed. Rudolf Walter (Vienna: Doblinger, 1980).

Walter, Toccatinen

Muffat, Gottlieb, Toccatinen, Praeludien, Capricci für Positiv oder Orgel, ed. Rudolf Walter (Vienna: Doblinger, 2009).

Wollny, Froberger

Froberger, Johann Jakob, Toccaten, Suiten, Lamenti: Die Handschrift SA 4450 der Sing-Akademie zu Berlin. Faksimile und Übertragung, ed. Peter Wollny (Kassel: Bärenreiter, 2006).





keyboard instrument (manuals only)


Maestro di Cappella













I.Andreas Muffat

m. Margarita (née Orsy)

1.Georg (bap. 1 June 1653, Megève; d. 23 February 1704, Passau)

m. Anna Elisabetha (née Voll) (b. ca. 1646; d. 12 February 1721, Vienna), 29 June 1677, Vienna

II.Children of Georg Muffat (I,1)

1.Maria Anna (Maria Barbara) (bap. 22 December 1678, Salzburg; d. 4 September 1710, Vienna)

m. Carl Caspar Junglieb, 10 May 1708, Vienna

2.Franciscus Maximilianus Josephus (Joseph) (bap. 12 March 1680, Salzburg; d. TBP 6 January 1745, PM 7 January, Vienna)

m. 1. Maria Anna Kollhund (b. ca. 1693, Vienna; d. TBP 13 March 1741, PM 14 March, Vienna), 31 August 1714, Vienna

m. 2. Elisabeth Krickl (née Winckler von Streitfort) (b. ca. 1692; d. 14 May 1757, Vienna), 17 May 1744, Vienna

IIIa. Children of Franciscus Maximilianus Josephus (Joseph) Muffat (II,2)

1.Josephus Matthias Adamus (bap. 13 May 1715, Vienna; d. after 1741)

2.Leopoldus Josephus Franciscus (bap. 21 November 1716, Vienna; d. before 1741)

3.Maria Anna Catharina (bap. 4 August 1718, Vienna; d. after 1741)

4.Carolus Felix (bap. 14 May 1720, Vienna; d. after 1741)

5.Joannes Nepomucenus (bap. 13 April 1722, Vienna, d. 27 May 1722, Vienna)

6.Elisabetha Josepha Barbara (bap. 21 May 1723, Vienna; d. after 1741)

7.Maria Josepha (bap. 1 April 1725, Vienna; d. 6 September 1725, Vienna)

8.Susanna (b. ca. October 1726, Vienna?; d. 6 December 1726, Vienna)

9.Ferdinandus Franciscus Xaverius (bap. 23 December 1727, Vienna; d. PM 19 June 1786, TBP 20 June, Vienna)

10. “Christina” (b. 6 July 1730, Vienna; d. 6 July1730, Vienna)

3.Franciscus Georgius Godefridus (Franz Georg Gottfried) (bap. 2 November 1681, Salzburg; d. 25 August 1710, Vienna)

m. Maria Theresia Kürner, 19 February 1703, Vienna

IIIb. Children of Franciscus Georgius Godefridus (Franz Georg Gottfried) Muffat (II,3)

1.Joannes Georgius Melchior Maria (bap. 13 September 1706, Vienna; d. 25 August 1740, Vienna?)

4.Sigismundus Fridericus (Friderich) (bap. 30 March 1684, Salzburg; d. after 1723 Mannheim?)

m. Anna Maria Daniel, before 1717, Innsbruck

5.Joannes Sigismundus (bap. 2 June 1685, Salzburg; d. before July 1701, Passau?)

6.Joannes Ernestus (Johann Ernst) (bap. 9 December 1686, Salzburg; d. 24 June (probate documents) or 25 June 1746 (TBP, PM), Vienna)

7.Sigismundus Ignatius (Sigmund) (bap. 15 February 1688, Salzburg; d. 20 March 1760)

m. Maria Sophia Eineder (b. 18 August 1695, Vienna; d. TBP 5 March 1760, PM 7 March, Vienna), 17 May 1722, Vienna

8.Liebgott (Gottlieb) (bap. 25 April 1690, Passau; d. TBP 9 December 1770, PM 11 December, Vienna)

m. Maria Rosalia Eineder (bap. 19 January 1700, Vienna; d. TBP 26 May 1781, PM 28 May, Vienna), 22 May 1719, Vienna

IIIc. Children of Liebgott (Gottlieb) Muffat (II,8)

1.Franciscus Josephus Ignatius Laurentius Thadæus (Franz Joseph) (bap. 9 August 1720, Vienna; TBP 17? [sic] June 1763, PM 19 June, Vienna)

2.Maria Anna Christina (Maria Anna) (bap. 3 July 1725, Vienna; d. TBP 14 March 1759, PM 16 March, Vienna)

m. Jacob Joseph Woller (von Wollersfeld from 12 May 1764) (b. 22 August 1713, Traiskirchen; d. TBP 1 January 1777, PM 3 January, Vienna), 24 February 1754, Vienna

IV. Children of Maria Anna Christina (Maria Anna) Woller (née Muffat) (IIIc,2)

1.Theresia Josepha Rosina Anna Magdalena (bap. 13 January 1756, Vienna; d. 18 January 1756)

2.Maria Anna Aloysia Erasmus Expeditus Thecla Margaretha (Maria Anna) (bap. 26 December 1754, Vienna; d. after 1809)

3.Josephus Dominicus Antonius Judas Thadæus Ignatius Franciscus Xaverius (Joseph Dominik) (bap. 18 January 1758, Vienna; d. 17 November 1809, Graz)

m. Maria Anna Junker (b. ca. 1760, Bozen, Tirol; d. 2 August 1819, Pöltenberg), 10 June 1785, Vienna

V. Children of Josephus Dominicus Antonius Judas Thadæus Ignatius Franciscus Xaverius (Joseph Dominik) Woller (IV,3)

1.Maria (b. ca. 1785; d. 18 October 1788, Vienna)

4. “Christina” (b. 14 March 1759, Vienna; d. TBP 14 March 1759, PM 16 March, Vienna)

3.Franciscus Josephus Joannes Ignatius Felix (bap. 25 June 1727, Vienna; d. 7 March 1728, Vienna)

4.Ignatius Josephus Vitalis Sigismundus (bap. 28 April 1732, Vienna; d. 18 March 1733, Vienna)

5.Joannes Nepomuzenus Carolus Leopoldus Januarius (Johann Karl) (bap. 19 September 1735, Vienna; d. TBP 8 March 1767, PM 10 March, Vienna)

9.Maria Francisca (Maria Anna) (bap. 13 January 1692, Passau; d. 24 June 1760, Salzburg)

m. Karl Josef Perhandzky von Adlersberg (b. Dresden; d. 15 June 1721, Salzburg)

IIId. Children of Maria Francisca (Maria Anna) Perhandzky von Adlersberg (née Muffat) (II,9)

1.Josef Ernst (b. 1709, Salzburg; d. 28 April 1772, Thalgau)

m. 1. Maria Anna Maralt (b. ca. 1713; d. 15 July 1734), 10 November, 1733, Salzburg

m. 2. Antonia Konhauser (b. 25 October 1715, Tittmoning; d. 30 January 1796, Salzburg), 27 September 1735, Teisendorf

2.Karl Johann, (b. ca. 1710; d. 4 February 1781, Salzburg)

m. Franziska Steinheber (b. ca. 1717; d. 10 March 1789, Salzburg)

3.Rosa Josefa (bap. 8 August 1712, Salzburg; d. before 1721)

4.Franz Anton Ignaz (bap. 10 January 1715, Salzburg; d. 27 February 1748, Salzburg)

5.Ignaz Paul (bap. 28 April 1720, Salzburg; d. after 1773)

m. Maria Elisabeth Weiß


This research is the product of an extended period of systematic archival research in Austria, Germany and the Czech Republic. First and foremost, an assessment of these materials allows us to evaluate what influence family background, cultural ties and social spheres may have had on Gottlieb Muffat’s activities as a composer. As has been mentioned in the preface, the discrepancies in secondary literature, which suggested that primary sources were no longer extant, was the initial motivation for this research. As I began to navigate the labyrinth of archives, however, it became apparent that there exists such a vast wealth of sources that it would be impossible to investigate them all within the time constraints of this project. For this reason, this study could not be deemed a holistic one but it is hoped that the biography of Gottlieb Muffat has been considerably embellished. Sources which have been consulted include church records, wills, probate documentation, land registers and Viennese imperial court documents. As primary sources have been examined, the numerous errors which prevail in secondary literature will not be discussed.

Although an array of sources are at our disposal when investigating Muffat family biography, very few items are known to survive which can be connected to anyone in Gottlieb Muffat’s close circle. For example, only one portrait (of Gottlieb Muffat’s son-in-law Jacob Joseph Woller von Wollersfeld) is known, no private letters have yet been found and only a handful of autographs survive. The following table lists both documents in Muffat’s hand and letters and testimonials composed by him but seemingly all in the hand of various professional copyists:

Table 1. Gottlieb Muffat autographs, letters and testimonials


Transcriptions and translations are my own unless stated otherwise. Documents have been transcribed in a semi-diplomatic manner. The layout (line breaks) of the original documents has not been replicated.

Omissions are indicated by [...].

Contemporary orthography has been retained, including capitalization (although in the case of certain letters it is not always possible to differentiate between lower and upper case) with the exception of people’s names, the first letter of which have been capitalized.

Macrons over the letters ‘m’ or ‘n’ are not transcribed, instead these letters have been doubled silently.

Punctuation is as in the original documents (including the use of ‘=’ for hyphenation and ‘/: : /’ for brackets) with two exceptions: hyphenation marks at the end or start of a line where a word has been split have been omitted, and full stops have been inserted at the end of paragraphs where there is no punctuation in the original.

The distinction between German cursive (Kurrentschrift) and Latin script denoting foreign words (or more commonly parts thereof) has not been preserved.

Underlining in the original document is reproduced.

Scribal abbreviations have been omitted (‘l’) or silently expanded (‘-er’ and ‘-en’) by the editor. The manu propria sign has been standardized to ‘mp’.

Where the text is not clearly legible [?] directly follows the word.

Other editorial additions and comments are included in square brackets.


Gottlieb Muffat was christened ‘Liebgott’ (meaning ‘love of God’)7 after his godfather Count Liebgott von Kuefstein (d. 7 July 1710).8 Confusion over his first name often arises due to the large number of variants found in the literature. In primary sources alone, we encounter Amadeus, Gottlieb, Liebgott, Teoffilo, Théophile, and Theophilus. Gottlieb is also referred to as ‘Franz’ in some early OMeA documents (probably erroneously as his older brother Franz Georg Gottfried was employed as a musician at the imperial court at the same time),9 once also as ‘Ernst’ (confused with his brother the violinist Johann Ernst),10 ‘Godfried’ in his marriage record,11 ‘Georgius Theophilus’ in his son Ignatius’s baptism record,12 and as ‘Gottlieb Joseph’ in a letter about his duties as guardian (16 August 1740).13 He is also called ‘Gottlieb August’ (or the reverse) in some nineteenth-century literature; to my knowledge, however, this second Christian name is not found in any contemporary documents.14 Variants of the surname also occur in eighteenth-century sources, for example, Mufat, Muffatt, Muffart, and Mupfart. Occasionally in mid to late eighteenth-century sources one also finds members of the family addressed as ‘von Muffat’—a predicate of nobility; for example, in Franz Joseph’s application to marry15 and in Maria Rosalia’s death records.16

Although he was christened Liebgott, throughout this study, he will be referred to as Gottlieb, the form used by the composer when signing his name. Other family members are referred to by the form of their name most commonly used in primary sources. Where no or few documents pertaining to an individual are known, the German form of their Christian name(s) is used (as opposed to the Latin normally found in baptismal records). As numerous members of the Muffat family are discussed, I will unconventionially primarily refer to each person by their first name(s).


Church records17 are the main source for events discussed under this heading but secondary sources have been used when archival materials could not be consulted. Dates of baptism, as opposed to birth dates, are given throughout, as at this period it is rarely possible to ascertain the latter. Dates of marriages can often not be precisely established as entries in the marriage registers were not made during or after the ceremony, but rather when an application to marry was received. Before the ceremony could take place the dispensation of trinis denuntiationibus—the marriage was announced three times to ensure that there were no impediments—was required. Only after there were shown to be no objections and the couple had taken an oath could the wedding take place. This was normally a couple of weeks after the intention to marry was stated.18 In the case of Franz Joseph Muffat, who married Maria Josepha von Kriegl on 25 July 1751, the three dates are given as 18, 22 and 25 July.19

It is even more difficult to precisely establish death dates at this time. It is not uncommon for the age of death in records to conflict with the age according to the baptismal registers. For example, in the case of Johann Ernst Muffat the age of death is given in all sources as 48 years old whereas in actual fact he was some twelve years older. There are also several discrepancies between the church death records (usually the Protocollum mortuorum of St. Stephen’s, Vienna, hereafter PM), the Viennese Totenbeschauprotokolle (hereafter TBP),20 and the Wienerisches Diarium/Wiener Zeitung (a secondary source which occasionally provides additional—and occasionally conflicting—information).21 These discrepancies may have occurred because of the procedure of recording deaths. The dead were inspected and a death certificate (‘Totenbeschauzettel’) was issued. Death certificates—which were often barely legible—were usually copied into the book at a much later date and for this reason entries are not always reliable. In the TBP, the date given is that of inspection, which was not always the date of death. The records from 21 April 1752 onwards were ordered alphabetically and then chronologically (records prior to this were only ordered chronologically); this additional filtering of data may account for further incongruities.22 Where there are discrepancies, the dates of state and church records are given. Details of burials in Vienna, which include the class of funeral and expenses, are taken from the so-called Bahrleihbücher (which detail burial dates, customs and expenses, in A-Wd).

Wills and probate documents have to date only been consulted for members of the Muffat family living in Vienna.23 These documents are split between the Obersthofmarschallamt (hereafter OMaA) and the Alte Ziviljustiz authority (in A-Wsa). The Obersthofmarschallamt (1486–1919, interrupted 1749–63 when the Lower Austrian regime took over its functions) was from 1564 onwards responsible for civil and punitive matters pertaining to members of the Viennese imperial court and was also the authority for matters such as diplomacy and imperial journeys.24 The Alte Ziviljustiz authority normally only contains wills and probate documents of those living in Vienna who did not fall under the jurisdiction of a particular institution such as the imperial court, another legal authority (Grundherrschaft) and the university, however, until 1749 it also included some legal documentation thereafter exclusively found in the Obersthofmarschallamt.25 These documents are some of the most illuminating in that they not only provide clues for the genealogist but also give the best insight into the social and financial standing of an individual.


The starting point for researching Muffat residences in Vienna is death records. The examination of death records of several members of one branch of the family allows us to establish whether or not the place of death was also the place of residence. Further research was greatly facilitated by Paul Harrer-Lucienfeld’s reference work Wien seine Häuser, Menschen und Kultur (Vienna: author, 1951–58), although the consultation of primary sources such as land registers, tax books and wills revealed several inaccuracies, unsurprising given the level of detail in this mammoth study. Viennese addresses of this period are characterized by Konskriptionsnummern which changed in the years 1770, 1795 and 1821, and/or a house name. In this study, all three numbers are given in chronological order together with the modern address. The only detailed history of a house provided here is that of Gottlieb Muffat’s home at 2 Weihburggasse /11 Kärntnerstraße, where several generations of the family resided in the eighteenth century. Sources employed include plans of the building showing proposed alterations to its structure (A-Wsa Unterkammeramt, Bauamt); tax registers (A-Wsa Steueramt)—the most illuminating, the so-called Josephinische Steuerfassion (ca. 1787–89),26 unfortunately postdate Gottlieb Muffat’s lifetime—and eighteenth-century maps such as Joseph Daniel von Huber’s (1730/31–88) cartographic masterpieces.27 Some further information is also found in the Hofquartiersbücher (1563–1782) and Hofquartiersresolutionen (Hofquartiersakten) (1612–1778) (in AT-OeStA FHKA AHK).28 Not everyone was granted court accommodation and the size and quality of living quarters for court employees unsurprisingly depended on the rank of the tenant. The highest class quarters, with three or more rooms, were for top officials, next were for musicians, doctors, chamberlains etc.; couples would have had double the amount of room at their disposal as a single person.29


A diverse range of manuscript and printed sources provide an insight into the workings of the great mechanism that was the Viennese imperial court. With regard to documenting the lives of musicians in imperial service, the key materials are account books (Hof- und Kameralzahlamtsbücher, in AT-OeStA) and the extensive records of the Obersthofmeisteramt (in HHStA).

There are a total of 656 volumes of Hofzahlamtsbücher (1542–1714) and Kameralzahlamtsbücher (1715–1825) (hereafter HZAB) which list the expenses of the court and thereby provide invaluable information about representation, art and culture. These have been consulted systematically but transcriptions are not included here as the records from the Obersthofmeisteramt provide more detailed information about salaries and additional payments (such as ‘Gnadengeld’—a charitable payment) made to individuals. It should also be noted that it was not uncommon for musicians to receive money from other accounts and therefore the salaries listed in the Hof- and Kameralzahlamtsbücher are by no means always representative of a musician’s entire income from court.

The Obersthofmeister was in many respects the highest dignitary at court, responsible for both representative and ceremonial matters and for the direction of court personnel.30 The Protokolle in Hofparteiensachen (hereafter OMeA Prot., available for the period 1650–1780) comprise fair copies of reports sanctioned by the Emperor. Original letters, testimonials and annotated drafts, which are often of much more interest to the researcher, are found in the corresponding ältere Reihe of the Obersthofmeisteramtsakten (hereafter OMeA ÄR). Both series have been examined systematically for the period 1700–70.31

In addition, the Hofzeremonielldepartement records (hereafter OMeA ZA), the Zeremonialprotokolle (1652–1918, hereafter OMeA ZA Prot.) and ältere Zeremonialakten (1562–1836, hereafter OMeA ÄZA), provide detailed accounts of court journeys, coronations and other important ceremonial occasions such as name days, weddings, funerals, processions, opera and oratorio performances and ‘public’ (öffentlich) church services. As with the Obersthofmeisteramt documents, the Protokolle are fair copies which were, at least during the reign of Karl VI, made some time after events took place. These have been primarily consulted in relation to Gottlieb Muffat’s travels to Prague (1723) and Pressburg (1741).32

Similar information is found in the printed court calendars (Hofkalender)33 and Wienerisches Diarium/Wiener Zeitung. The printed court calendars—of which there are two types: Der Kaiserliche, Königliche und Erzherzogliche Staats- und Standes-Calender (or Schematismus)34 and Der Kaiserliche Hof- und Ehrenkalender35 (neither of which are available for the years 1711–14 and 1741–42)—were only consulted in order to confirm periods of employment at court where no other documentation was available due to records either having been destroyed or due to the time constraints of this project. It should be noted that the text often remains largely unchanged from year to year and therefore the information is not always reliable—even in the court’s own annotated copies (in HHStA).


In order to have a better understanding of Gottlieb’s musical influences, career path and social position, it is necessary to discuss the education and career of his father in some depth. In comparison to his son, Georg Muffat’s life and works have been thoroughly, although not exhaustively, investigated. This is probably owing to the several detailed autobiographical prefaces to his printed editions which have greatly facilitated research. Markus Eberhardt’s recent summation of over a century of research serves as the basis for much of the following concise biography;36 however, several hitherto unknown documents have been found during the course of this study which illuminate Georg Muffat’s ‘missing’ years and provide us with the first information about his wife Anna Elisabetha.


According to earlier biographers,37 the Muffat family was of Scottish or English origin and came to the duchy of Savoy (which today belongs to France) sometime in the second half of the sixteenth century, after having been persecuted because of their Catholic faith.38 Georg, the son of Andreas and Margarita (née Orsy), was baptized on 1 June 1653 in Megève;39 his godparents were Georg Evrard and Francisca Muffat.40 It has been speculated that Georg Muffat’s father Andreas was in the imperial army, as were several other Muffats of Megève origin, one of whom (Jean-Pierre) was bestowed with the title Count Muffat of Saint-Amour in 1719.41Georg Muffat’s family probably moved and settled in the Alsatian town of Sélestat (Schlettstadt) during Georg’s early childhood. Interestingly, it is Schlettstadt which is erroneously given as Georg’s place of birth in his marriage record.42


Georg Muffat spent much of his youth (ca. 1663–69) in Paris where, according to the preface of his Florilegium Primum (Passau, 1695), he studied for six years with Jean-Baptiste Lully (1632–87).43 It has been speculated that during his time there he was a member of the élite orchestra ‘le vingt-quatre violons’, a choir boy at one of the larger Parisian churches or at the court of Louis XIV.44 We know that by September 1669 Georg had returned to Alsace as he is listed as having appeared in the drama Maternus ex mortuo redivivus, Apostolus Alsatiae, post alteram mortem coelo insertus,45 performed at the Jesuit gymnasium in Sélestat. The entry ‘Georg Muffat Megevensis Sabaudus Syntaxista’, reveals that at this time he was in the Syntaxis maior, an upper class in the Jesuit education system.46

By 1671 Georg had moved to Molsheim, approximately thirty kilometres from Sélestat, where he is listed as a Rhetoricus, i. e. in the final class at the Jesuit college. Muffat also held what was probably his first organist’s post here, noteworthy given that the Molsheim Jesuit church was the seat of the Strasbourg cathedral chapter between 1580 and 1681. In the cathedral chapter records, we find the following entry:

The student Muffat appeared in front of the Senior and Deputy [of the high choir] with a petition, humbly mentioning that Mr Goetz wished to leave the office of organist, and relinquish it in order to make greater advancement [in music]. He enquired urgently how long we wanted him to substitute the administration of the organ. [...] With this great task, its commitments and salary, as Mr Goetz had when in the office of organist, the applicant Georg Muffat from Megève in Savoy, a student of Rhetoric, has been entrusted by the aforementioned office of Senior and Deputy for one or two years, until Eberhardt, the instrumentalist of the Präbendarchor, has shown himself to be sufficiently capable of these duties. Then Muffat will be obliged to relinquish the above office.47

It is unclear how long Muffat stayed in Molsheim but it is known from an entry in the university’s registers (‘Georgius Muffat, Juris utriusque studiosus’) that by 27 November 1674 he had commenced legal studies at the university in Ingolstadt in Bavaria.48 It is not known whether or not he sat or passed the bar examination.


No sources pertaining to Georg Muffat have yet been uncovered for the years 1675–76. In the foreword to the Florilegium Primum, Georg Muffat writes that when he returned from France to Alsace he was expelled because of war, namely the so-called Dutch war (1672–78), and so departed for Austria and Bohemia before subsequently taking up his post at Salzburg.49 It has been suggested that in the years following his legal studies he was employed at the imperial court in Vienna; however, his name does not appear in any records known to me making it highly unlikely that he was bestowed an official paid post. It has also been speculated that he was a teacher of Johann Joseph Fux (ca. 1660–1741)50—an occurrence that would be pleasingly symmetrical as Fux was later a teacher of Gottlieb Muffat.

Newly discovered materials suggest that Georg may have been in the employment of the Harrach family earlier than previously believed as his daughter Maria Anna writes in 1721 that her father had been in their service for thirty years.51 It can be confirmed from the hitherto unknown marriage record in St. Stephen’s cathedral that Georg was certainly in Vienna in 1677.52 It may have been a fleeting visit, however, as it is dated 29 June 1677—only three days before his latest possible arrival in Prague. Nothing was previously known about Georg’s spouse except for her Christian names: Anna Elisabetha. She was born ca. 164653 and from the marriage record we learn that she was the orphaned daughter of Johann Caspar Voll, a Pfleger (administrator, governor) in Waidhofen in Bavaria, and his wife Rosina. Given Waidhofen’s close proximity to Ingolstadt (approximately thirty kilometres), it would seem likely that the couple met when Georg was studying law there. What is striking about the marriage record is that Georg’s birth place is given falsely as Schlettstadt (Sélestat) and one of their witnesses (the other(s) are not listed) was not a known family member or friend, rather a coach driver. Sometime after Georg’s death Anna Elisabetha returned to Vienna, where she died on 12 February 1721.

Georg can next be traced to Prague on 2 July 1677, as is evidenced by a signed and dated manuscript of his solo violin sonata (CZ-KR B IV 118 A 562)54—one of only two known surviving autographs, the other is of his Missa in labore requies (H-Bn Ms.mus.IV.521).55


In 1678, Georg Muffat was appointed organist and cubicularius (normally translated as chamberlain) at the court of the Salzburg Prince-Archbishop Max Gandolf Graf von Kuenburg (1622–87, prince-archbishop from 1668, cardinal from 1686), to whom he dedicated his Armonico tributo (Salzburg, 1682). The precise date of his arrival in Salzburg cannot be determined as there are gaps in payment lists between 1681 and 1688. There are, however, so-called Hofkammer Katenichel, which detail what was given to court employees annually at Christmas time, in which Georg is listed from 1678.56 From these we learn that in 1682, Georg earned 33 Fl 20 Kr and between 1685 and 1687 he received 50 Fl salary and additional expenses.57 The terminus ad quem for his arrival in Salzburg is the birth of his first child, Maria Anna, baptized in St. Rupert’s cathedral on 22 December 1678.58 During his time at Salzburg, a further six children were born.59 After Kuenburg’s death in 1687, Georg continued to serve under his successor Johann Ernst von Thun (1643–1709, prince-archbishop from 1687).


Whilst employed at Salzburg, Georg was granted a period of study in Rome in 1681–82. It is difficult to ascertain the exact duration of his stay; it is known that he was placed in quarantine at the borders of the Republic of Venice on 16 October 1681 (as a precautionary measure against the spreading of epidemics) and was first allowed to continue his journey on 15 November.60 In the foreword to Auserlesene Instrumental-Music (Passau, 1701), he writes that there he learned the ‘Italian manner’ of playing keyboard instruments from the world-famous Bernardo Pasquini (1637–1710) and was inspired to compose several concerti after Archangelo Corelli (1653–1713), which he tried out in Corelli’s own apartment, indicating a close relationship with the composer. Georg was to return for the celebrations of the 1110th anniversary of the foundation of the Salzburg church, which took place between 17 and 24 October 1682.61 Although the duration of his stay in Rome was relatively short, its value cannot be underestimated as Georg Muffat remains most revered for his artful synthesis of French, German and Italian styles.


Before he made his final transfer to Passau, Georg Muffat went to Augsburg for the coronation festivities of the future Emperor Joseph I, undoubtedly with the view of seeking an appointment at court. The imperial family arrived in Augsburg in August 1689 and between this time and the coronation on 6 January 1690, Georg Muffat had the opportunity to present his Apparatus musico-organisticus (Augsburg, 1690)62 to the Emperor. A copy of the 1690 edition once belonging to Georg Muffat, which has seemingly remained unknown to editors of this work, is found in the music archive of the Benedictine monastery at Göttweig (A-GÖ 1272). It came to Göttweig through the estate of Aloys Fuchs (signed and dated by Fuchs in Vienna, 1849) and bears the following inscription at the end of the preface:

P. S. Cùm post humillimè a me oblatum, Clementissimè autem a S. C. Maiestate exceptum Augustæ Vindelicorum hoc opus, mihi reduci ad obeundum in posterùm Capellæ-Magistri officium Salisburgo Passavium Domicilium meum transferendum fuerit; Huius loci mutationis Benevolum Sectorem hisce monere volui, quatenùs Sciat, quò de incepo litteræ ad me dirigendæ sint.