Hieronymus Formschneider

  • Born
  • Died
    7th May 1556
  • Birthplace
Hieronymus Andreae, or Andreä, or Hieronymus Formschneider, (died 7 May 1556) was a German woodblock cutter ("formschneider"), printer, publisher and typographer closely associated with Albrecht Dürer. Andreae's best known achievements include the enormous, 192-block Triumphal Arch woodcut, designed by Dürer for Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor, and his design of the characteristic German "blackletter" Fraktur typeface ("Gothic" to most English-speakers), on which German typefaces were based for several centuries. He was also significant as a printer of music. After Dürer's death he became important as a printer and publisher of music, and a designer of musical type – in this field he tends to be known as "Hieronymus Formschneider", the name used on his title-pages. He published music in a partnership lasting between 1533-1550 with the bookseller Hans Ott, their respective roles probably falling into the typical modern ones of printer and publisher. Their most ambitious production was the Novum et insigne opus musicum, a two volume anthology of one hundred motets published in 1537-1538, of which 177 examples survive, more than any other such work published before 1550. Formschneider created a single-impression typeface for music, which he first used in 1534; in this he was only the second in Germany, being preceded by two years by Christian Egenolff of Frankfurt, who printed Petrus Tritonius's edition of Odarum Horatii concentus in 1532. There is no evidence that Formschneider was himself a musician, or that he had any deep understanding of what he was printing. Also bearing Formschneider's imprint is the enormous Choralis Constantinus, which appeared in three volumes in 1550-55. This was the largest sixteenth century collection of Mass Proper settings, mainly by composer Heinrich Isaac, with the portion left unfinished completed on his death by his student Ludwig Senfl.

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