Ein feste Burg

Composer: Martin Luther, 1529
Meter: 8.7. 8.7. 5.5. 5.6. 7.
Source: Joseph Klug, Geistliche Lieder, Wittenberg, 1533
Proper Text: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God (Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott)

Zahn No. 7377a

Martin Luther composed the tune “Ein feste Burg” to accompany his text, “festeburg1Johann Walter prepared a polyphonic arrangement with the melody in the tenor, which was included beginning with the 1544 printing of his Geystliche gesangk Buchleyn. It is the tenor part for this arrangement that appears in a handwritten manuscript often seen in connection with this tune. This is actually an entry in the “Luther Codex,” a collection of tenor parts sent by Walter as a gift to Luther, who possessed a fine tenor voice. It is actually not, therefore, a true example of the original melody, which is to be sought in the hymnals, not in the choir books.

Historic Settings

Johannes Eccard, 1597