Johann Steurlein (b. Schmalkalden, Thuringia, Germany, 1546; d. Meiningen, Germany, 1613) studied law at the University of Wittenberg. From 1569 to 1589 he lived in Wasungen near Meiningen, where he served as town clerk as well as cantor and organist in the Lutheran church. From 1589 until his death he lived in Meiningen, where at various times he served as notary public, mayor, and secretary to the Elector of Saxony. A gifted poet and musician, Steurlein rhymed both the Old and New Testaments in German. A number of his hymn tunes and harmonizations were published in Geistliche Lieder (1575) and Sieben und Zwantzig Neue Geistliche Gesenge (1588).
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Translator: Johann Christian Jacobi
Jacobi, John Christian, a native of Germany, was born in 1670, and appointed Keeper of the Royal German Chapel, St. James's Palace, London, about 1708. He held that post for 42 years, and died Dec. 14, 1750. He was buried in the Church of St. Paul's, Covent Garden. His publications included :—
(1) A Collection of Divine Hymns, Translated from the High Dutch. Together with their Proper Tunes and Thorough Bass. London: Printed and Sold by J. Young, in St. Paul’s Churchyard; . . . 1720. This edition contains 15 hymns. Two years later this collection, with a few changes in the text and much enlarged, was republished as (2) Psalmodia Germanica; or a Specimen of Divine Hymns. Translated from the High Dutch. Together with their Proper Tunes… Go to person page >
Initially Luther used the folk melody associated with his first stanza as the tune for this hymn. Later he composed this new tune for his text. VOM HIMMEL HOCH was first published in Valentin Schumann's Geistliche Lieder in 1539. Johann S. Bach (PHH 7) used Luther's melody in three places in his wel…
Display Title: With this New Year We Raise New SongsFirst Line: With this new year we raise new songsTune Title: VOM HIMMEL HOCHAuthor: Johann Steuerlein; Johann C. JacobiMeter: LMSource: Sieben und Zwantzigk newe geistlich Gesenge, mit vier Stimmen componiiret, Erfurt, Germany, 1588; Tr.: Psalmodia Germanica (London, G. Smith, 1732)