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Melchior Vulpius

Short Name: Melchior Vulpius
Full Name: Vulpius, Melchior, ca. 1570-1615
Birth Year (est.): 1570
Death Year: 1615

Born into a poor family named Fuchs, Melchior Vulpius (b. Wasungen, Henneberg, Germany, c. 1570; d. Weimar, Germany, 1615) had only limited educational oppor­tunities and did not attend the university. He taught Latin in the school in Schleusingen, where he Latinized his surname, and from 1596 until his death served as a Lutheran cantor and teacher in Weimar. A distinguished composer, Vulpius wrote a St. Matthew Passion (1613), nearly two hundred motets in German and Latin, and over four hundred hymn tunes, many of which became popular in Lutheran churches, and some of which introduced the lively Italian balletto rhythms into the German hymn tunes. His music was published in Cantiones Sacrae (1602, 1604), Kirchengesangund Geistliche Lieder (1604, enlarged as Ein schon geistlich Gesanglmch, 1609), and posthumous­ly in Cantionale Sacrum (1646).

Bert Polman


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