German poet,writer on music and composer. A distinguished keyboard player, he served at the Werttemberg court, 1769-73, then worked in Augsburg and Ulm. After imprisonment, 1777-87 (for insulting a duke's mistress), he became court and theatre poet at Stuttgart. As a composer he was best known for his lieder. His writings, including an important work on musical aesthetics (1806) and essays in his own periodical, stress expression in music. His poetry was often set; Schubert's four settings include Die Forelle and An meine Klavier.