Graupner was born in Hartmannsdorf near Kirchberg in Saxony. He studied music with Nicolaus Kuester, an organist. Graupner went to Reichenbach with Kuester. He stayed there until he was accepted at the Thomasschule in Leipzig. Johann Schelle and Johann Kuhnau were his music teachers in Leipzig. Graupner also studied law while in Leipzig. At that time, many composers studied law and music.
In 1706, Graupner moved to Hamburg. He became the harpischordist of the Hamburg Opera. Graupner wrote some of his operas in Hamburg. He remained in Hamburg for three years. In 1709, Ernst Ludwig, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt offered Graupner a position as vice Kapellmeister at the court of Darmstadt. A Kapellmeister is a person who manages the music for a nobleman. Graupner married in 1711. He had six sons and a daughter.
Graupner composed a lot of cantatas in Darmstadt. In 1722 he was chosen to become the Kantor of the Thomaskirche in Leipzig. A Kantor is a musician who manages the music in a church. However, Graupner decided to remain in Darmstadt. That is because his employer increased his salary. Instead, Johann Sebastian Bach became the next Kantor of the Thomaskirche.
Graupner wrote a lot of music. This includes 13 sinfonias, 85 ouvertures, 44 concertos, 8 operas, 1,418 religious and 24 secular cantatas, 66 sonatas and 57 harpsichord partitas. Almost all of Graupner's music is stored in the ULB (Technical University Library) in Darmstadt, Germany.
- McCredie, Andrew D. (2001). "Graupner, Christoph". Grove Music Online (8th ed.). Oxford University Press.
- Arnold, Denis; Smallman, Basil. "Graupner, (Johann) Christoph". Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/acref/9780199579037.013.3011. Retrieved 17 February 2022.
- Prima la musica! began publishing a series of modern scores for some of Graupner's, ouvertures,sinfonias, and annual cantata cycles of cantatas in 2007.