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He was born in Bromberg, Germany. In 1950, he published the BWV, or Bach-Werke-Verzeichnis ("Bach Works Catalogue"), a catalog of musical works by Johann Sebastian Bach. The numbering system used in the BWV has since become a nearly universal standard, used by scholars and musicians around the world. Dr Schmieder served as the Special Advisor for Music for the City and University library at Johann Wolfgang Goethe University Frankfurt am Main from April 1942 until his retirement in 1963. He lived in Freiburg im Breisgau until his death in November 1990 at the age of 89.
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