VATER UNSER

Tune Information

Meter: 8.8.8.8.8.8
Incipit: 55345 32155 47534
Key: c minor
Source: Geistliche Lieder; Schumann's Gesangbuch, 1539; Strassburger Gesangbuch
Copyright: Public Domain

Notes

Martin Luther's versification of the Lord's Prayer was set to this tune in Valentin Schumann's hymnal, Geistliche Lieder (1539); the tune, whose composer remains unknown, had some earlier use. The tune name derives from Luther's German incipit: “Vater unser im Himmelreich….” Because VATER UNSER found later use in British and Scottish psalters as a setting for Psalm 112, it acquired the alternate title OLD 112TH in some hymnals. Johann S. Bach (PHH 7) used this tune in his St. John Passion (1724)–from which the Psalter Hymnal gets its harmonization–and in Cantatas 90,101, and 102, among others. Bach also wrote organ preludes on the melody. Felix Mendelssohn arranged a famous organ treatment on this tune in his Sixth Organ Sonata. One of the classic chorales, VATER UNSER features phrases grouped into three long lines. Use solid organ tone and sing in harmony if resources permit. --Psalter Hymnal Handbook, 1988

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