Wachet auf

Meter: 8.9.8. 8.9.8. 6.6.4. 4.4.8.
Composer: Philipp Nicolai, 1599
Proper Text: Wake, Awake, for Night Is Flying (Wachet auf, ruft uns die Stimme)

Zahn No. 8405a

Associated Texts:


The melody “Wachet auf” originally appeared in Philipp Nicolai’s Freudenspiegel des Ewigen Lebens, Frankfurt an der Oder, 1599, p. 412, a scan of which is available here. The melody ran as follows:

The melody as given by Nicolai, however, presents two serious metrical difficulties, which would be dealt with in different ways within the next five years in two different four-part settings. The first, by Johann Georg Schott, appeared in his Psalmen und Gesang-Buch, Frankfurt am Main, 1603, p. 1054, No. 41, as follows:

The second, by Jacob Praetorius (no relation to his more famous contemporary Michael Praetorius), appeared in the Melodeyen Gesangbuch, Hamburg, 1604, pp. 374–379, as follows:

Download the score for the Jacob Praetorius setting.