This book examines the German church cantatas of Johann David Heinichen (1683-1729), a typically progressive contemporary of J.S. Bach. It explores the cantata's significance and development in Germany during the eighteenth century by clarifying its aesthetic basis, illuminating its range of musical styles, and placing these in the context of contemporaneous culture and society. Since Heinichen is best remembered today for his treatise on the thoroughbass, a book that includes a detailed explanation of musical rhetoric, special attention is given to Heinichen's own text structures and treatment. Because this book represents the first scholarly study of Heinichen's German choral works, it also discusses the authenticity, accuracy, chronology, and revisions of the manuscript sources.