Theorist and composer. Keyboard student and assistant of Kuhnau at the Leipzig Thomasschule; enrolled in Leipzig University in 1702, earning a law degree in 1706; began a practice in Weissenfels, where he had contact with Kapellmeister J. P. Krieger and his assistant Grünewald. Moved back to Leipzig in 1709 as opera director, also leading a collegium musicum; journeyed to Italy in 1710, where he enjoyed acclaim as an opera composer in Venice and taught Prince Leopold of Anhalt-Cöthen in Rome. In 1717, while still in Italy, he was appointed Kapellmeister in Dresden, a post he held until his death. Although his output includes a great variety of sacred and secular vocal music and instrumental works, he is best known for his treatise Der Generalbass in der Composition (1728, partially reworked from a publication of 1711), an exhaustive account not only of continuo practice but also of the technical and aesthetic aspects of composition.