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Published in 45 hymnals

Printable scores: PDF, MusicXML
Audio files: MIDI, Recording

Tune Information

Incipit: 1D7U1 34321 1D67U 17(6)
Key: d minor or modal
Source: Latin melody, c. 1100; Geystliche gesangk Buchleyn, Wittenberg, 1524, ed. Johann Walter


CHRIST LAG IN TODESBANDEN is an adaptation of a medieval chant used for "Victimae Paschali laudes" (the same chant is the source for CHRIST IST ERSTANDEN, 407). The tune's arrangement is credited to Johann Walther (b. Kahla, Thuringia, Germany, 1496: d. Torgau, Germany, 1570), in whose 1524 Geystliche Gesangk Buchleyn it was first published. But it is possible that Luther also had a hand in its arrangement. Walther was one of the great early influences in Lutheran church music. At first he seemed destined to be primarily a court musician. A singer in the choir of the Elector of Saxony in the Torgau court in 1521, he became the court's music director in 1525. After the court orchestra was disbanded in 1530 and reconstituted by the town, Walther became cantor at the local school in 1534 and directed the music in several churches. He served the Elector of Saxony at the Dresden court from 1548 to 1554 and then retired in Torgau. Walther met Martin Luther in 1525 and lived with him for three weeks to help in the preparation of Luther's German Mass. In 1524 Walther published the first edition of a collection of German hymns, Geystliche gesangk Buchleyn. This collection and several later hymnals compiled by Walther went through many later editions and made a permanent impact on Lutheran hymnody. One of the earliest and best-known Lutheran chorales, CHRIST LAG IN TODESBANDEN is a magnificent tune in rounded bar form (AABA) with vigor and lightness characteristic of Easter carols. Many organ compositions are based on this tune; Johann S. Bach (PHH 7) incorporated it extensively in his cantatas 4 and 158. --Psalter Hymnal Handbook


Instances (1 - 23 of 23)Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreFlexScoreAudioPage Scan
Ambassador Hymnal: for Lutheran worship #114
Christian Classics Ethereal Hymnary #1357ScoreAudio
Christian Worship: a Lutheran hymnal #161Text
Evangelical Lutheran Hymnary #343TextPage Scan
Evangelical Lutheran Worship #370
Glory to God: the Presbyterian Hymnal #237Text InfoAudio
Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church #185Text
Hymnal 1982: according to the use of the Episcopal Church #186TextPage Scan
Hymnal: A Worship Book #470
Hymns to the Living God #182TextPage Scan
Les Chants du Pèlerin #198
Lutheran Service Book #458TextPage Scan
Lutheran Worship #123Text
Moravian Book of Worship #367TextPage Scan
Presbyterian Hymnal: hymns, psalms, and spiritual songs #110TextPage Scan
Psalter Hymnal (Gray) #398Text InfoTune InfoTextScoreAudioPage Scan
Rejoice in the Lord #324TextFlexscorePage Scan
Small Church Music #1792Audio
The Cyber Hymnal #882TextScoreAudio
The Cyber Hymnal #9701TextScoreAudio
The United Methodist Hymnal #319TextFlexscoreAudio
Together in Song: Australian hymn book II #364
Trinity Hymnal (Rev. ed.) #279Text
Include 22 pre-1979 instances
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