Publication Date



musicology, Lutheran music


In 1956, the eminent German musicologist Lothar Hoffmann-Erbrecht published a catalogue of the manuscript Rostock, University Library, MS Mus. Saec. XVI-29 (henceforth Rostock 49). This large musical source was compiled and copied in 1566 by Jacob Praetorius (c. 1530-1586), principal organist at St. Jakobi in Hamburg from 1558 to his death. According to the lengthy Latin preface to his Opus musicum excellens et novum, Rostock 49 originally comprised eight groups of compositions organized by genre. Only four of these groups are extant, and, from an inscription on the binding, it is clear that the other four sections were bound in a second volume which has not been located. Of the four surviving groups of pieces, the first contains Te deum laudamus settings, responsories, and introits; the second, Masses, further organized according to the number of voices required for performance; the third, Alleluias, short prayer responsees, and Benedicamus Domino settings; and the fourth, Psalms, hymns, and Magnificats (canticle for the Offics of Vespers). All 204 compositions are therefore liturgical and were intended for a conservative, Latin-oriented Lutheran service. Only forty-eight of those 204 works are attributed to such composers as Josquin des Prez (c. 1440-1521), Thomas Crecquillon (c. 1480 and 1500-d. 1557?), Sixtus Dietrich (c. 1493-1548), Heinrich Isaac (c. 1450-1517), Cristobál de Morales (c. 1500-1553), and Adam Rener (c. 1485-c. 1520).