Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Music



First Advisor

Dr. Matthew Steel

Second Advisor

Dr. Paul Maier

Third Advisor

Dr. Alexander Cannon


Music, Lutheran, hymn, Walther, Reformation

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


This thesis examines the contents of Geistliches Gesangbüchlein, a sixteenth-­‐‑ century German Lutheran hymnal by Johann Walther, published in five editions between 1524 and 1551, the contents of which were substantially augmented, particularly between the 1525 and 1537 editions. Specifically, this project focuses on the twelve hymns with multiple settings, one or more of which were published in the first two editions and replaced by one or more settings in the last three editions, while assessing the characteristics across the original and removed settings and noting discernable trends of revision employed by Walther. Observable revision trends include length increase and a greater level of independence in the melodic lines, among others. This research concludes that, while there are some noticeable patterns of revision, it is not apparent that Walther used a rigid method in creating revised settings, as indicated by a few hymns with unique characteristics that diverge from the revision trends.