Chorale composition

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Chorale composition is an important class of Baroque organ composition based on chorale melodies. It became popular in the early seventeenth century and flourished in middle and northern Germany until the early eighteenth century.


Chorale compositions are often classed loosely under the general heading of chorale prelude perhaps due to its probable origin in the practice of church organists of playing a chorale tune all the way through as a prelude before the congregation sang it.


Examples of composers of chorale compositions include Samuel Scheidt and Sweelinck of the early Baroque period. Dietrich Buxtehude and Georg Böhm represent the middle Baroque period, and J.S. Bach whose work represents the peak of the genre.