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Johann Rudolph Ahle

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Johann Rudolph Ahle
Born(1625-12-24)24 December 1625
Died9 July 1673(1673-07-09) (aged 47)
Mühlhausen, Thuringia
EducationUniversity of Erfurt
  • Protestant church musician
  • Organist
  • Composer
  • Music theorist

Johann Rudolph (or Rudolf) Ahle (24 December 1625 – 9 July 1673) was a German composer, organist, theorist, and Protestant church musician.


Ahle was born in Mühlhausen, Thuringia.[1] While not much is known of his early musical training, he attended the grammar school in Göttingen and then studied theology at the University of Erfurt from 1645 to 1649.[1] In 1646 he became cantor at the Andreaskirche [de] in Erfurt.[1] In 1648 he published the Compendium per tenellis, a theoretical treatise on choral singing which was reprinted several times during his lifetime and for a last time 50 years later by his son Johann Georg (the last edition appeared in 1704).[2]

In 1654 Ahle assumed the post of organist at the Divi Blasii in Mühlhausen.[3] The next year he married Anna Maria Wölfer; their son, Johann Georg Ahle (1651–1706), was also a well-known composer and organist. Ahle was elected a town councillor in Mühlhausen in the 1650s, and was elected mayor shortly before his death in 1673.[3] His immediate successor at the church was his son Johann Georg, and then briefly Johann Sebastian Bach, who worked in Mühlhausen in 1707/08.[2]

Much of Ahle's compositional output consists of sacred choral and vocal works, instrumental music, and organ music. He is best known for motets and sacred concertos (most of them in German, some in Latin) contained in the collection Neu-gepflanzte Thüringische Lust-Garten, in welchem ... Neue Geistliche Musicalische Gewaechse mit 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 und mehr Stimmen auf unterschiedliche Arten mit und ohne Instrument ... versetzet (1657–65). He is also known for hymn melodies, of which three remain in the common German Protestant hymnal Evangelisches Gesangbuch, including "Liebster Jesu, wir sind hier" and "Morgenglanz der Ewigkeit".[2] The melody of the latter was used by Friedrich Dörr for the Advent song "Kündet allen in der Not".


  1. ^ a b c Gerber, Ernst Ludwig (1812). "Ahle, Johann Rudolph". Neues historisch-biographisches Lexikon der Tonkünstler (in German).
  2. ^ a b c Randel, Don (1996). "Ahle, Johann Rudolph". The Harvard Biographical Dictionary of Music. Harvard. p. 8.
  3. ^ a b Eitner, Robert (1900). "Ahle, Johann Rudolph". Biographisch-Bibliographisches Quellen-Lexikon der Musiker und Musikgelehrten (in German).

Further reading[edit]

  • Uwe Wolf – Programme notes to BIS-CD-821, 1996
  • Markus Rathey, Johann Rudolph Ahle. 1625–1673. Lebensweg und Schaffen, Eisenach: Wagner, 1999
  • "Johann Rudolf Ahle (Composer)", Bach Cantatas website

External links[edit]