Viertzig schöne geistliche Gesenglein

Viertzig schöne geistliche Gesenglein, mit vier stimmen, der lieben Jugend zum besten inn Druck verfertiget, Durch Balthasarum Musculum Schulmeister zu Zigenrück. Jetzt aber von neuem ubersehn, Corrigirt, und mit etlichen gesenglein gemehrt, Durch Georgium Körberum Noribergens. Anno MDXCVII.

[Forty lovely little spiritual songs, in four voices, produced for the edification of his dear students by Balthasar Musculus, schoolmaster at Zigenrück. Now, however, newly overseen, corrected, and expanded with a few more little songs, by Georg Körber of Nürnberg. In the year 1597.]

At the end:

Gedruckt zu Nürnberg, durch Alexander Philip Dieterich.

[Printed in Nürnberg by Alexander Philip Dieterich.]

This work appears in four part books in duodecimo. The first 40 settings are by Balthasar Musculus. In the tenor part book there is a preface by Körber to his students, dated January 1, 1597. Körber identifies himself as the Coadjutor of the school at St. Lorenz.

There was an earlier edition, printed in 1576, which included 25 hymn settings by Musculus.

I am unable to locate a scan of this work, so I am left to do a great deal of guessing about it. Zahn believes that the tune “Herzlich lieb hab ich dich, o Herr” may have appeared in the 1576 edition, making it the earliest known printed source for that melody. Furthermore, the 1597 edition included Musculus’s four-part setting of the tune “In dich hab ich gehoffet.” If this tune also appeared in 1576, that would make it the earliest appearance. The typically given source for “In dich hab ich gehoffet” is Gregor Sunderreitter, Davids Himlische Harpffen, 1581, but in that work the tune, though referred to as that for “In dich hab ich gehoffet, Herr,” is joined to a different text, which suggests that it was taken from an earlier source. Could Musculus 1576 be that source? If so, it is possible that Michael Praetorius’s setting in Musae Sioniae X, 1610, could be the original setting, since Praetorius drew a number of settings in that volume from Musculus.

Zahn No. 336