Helmut Barbe

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Helmut Barbe (born 28 December 1927 in Halle) is a German composer.

Barbe studied at the Berlin School of Church Music [de] (Berliner Kirchenmusikschule) where he was taught by Gottfried Grote and Ernst Pepping. Between 1952 and 1975 he was the Cantor at the church St. Nikolai [de] in Berlin's Spandau quarter. After this he took a post as a professor at the Berlin University of the Arts in what was at that time East Berlin.

In 1956 Barbe premiered his musical "Hallelujah Billy"[1] at the German Evangelical Church Assembly in Frankfurt am Main. This led commentators to identify him as a pioneer of contemporary worship music, in German Neues Geistliches Lied (NGL, literally: new spiritual song).[2]


  1. ^ Prof. Ernst Lange. "Halleluja, Billy Ein christliches Musical in 5 Akten von Ernst Lange, mit Songs von Helmut Barbe. Textliche Bearbeitung: Klaus Stolzmann" (PDF). Theater am Lindenhofe e.V., Hannover. Retrieved 3 June 2015.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ René Frank (2003). Adaption von Gospelgesängen. Das neue geistliche Lied: neue Impulse für die Kirchenmusik. Tectum Verlag, Marburg. p. 54. ISBN 978-3-8288-8573-8.