Beer was born in Austria to Protestant parents. In 1676 he entered the service of Augustus, Duke of Saxe-Weissenfels as a countertenor. In 1700 he died, aged 45, as the result of a hunting accident.
His comic writings are reminiscent of Hans Jakob Christoffel von Grimmelshausen.
His work of music theory Musikalische Discurse reveals German baroque performance practice.
Works and editions
- Der Simplicianische Welt-Kucker. The Simplician World-Observer 4 Vols. Halle and Saale 1677–79
- Der Abenteuerliche Ritter Hopffen-Sach. The adventurous Knight Hop-Sack. Halle 1678
- Der Politische Feuermäuer-Kehrer. Leipzig 1682
- Teutsche Winternächte. Nuremberg 1682, English translation German winter nights 1988.
- Musikalische Discurse durch die Philosophie deducirt
- Missa S. Marcellini for 8 soloists and double choir.
- James N. Hardin Johann Beer 1983
- Ferdinand van Ingen, Hans-Gert Roloff, Ulrike Wels Johann Beer: Schriftsteller, Komponist und Hofbeamter, 1655-1700 2003
- e.g. Philipp Spitta Johann Sebastian Bach: his work and influence 1951 "Johann Bahr, who was in his time Concert-meister at Weissenfels, says that one man conducts with the foot, another with the head, a third with the hand, some with both hands, some again take a roll of paper, and others a stick."
- German winter nights Johann Beer, John Raymond Russell - 1998
- edition - für 8 Solisten, 2 vierstimmige Chöre und Instrumente. Erstausgabe von Ursula Jürgens
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