En sjungen tacksägelse och bön i pestens år 1589


  • Kia Hedell


This article investigates a unique music print, printed by Andreas Gutterwitz in Stockholm in 1589 and preserved in one known copy, now in the library of Uppsala Cathedral. It contains a prayer for the ”weakening” of the pestilence, Tacksäyelse och Böön om thenna dödeliga Pestilenties förminskelse. The song is composed, edited or arranged by Wolfgang Burchard, schoolmaster and cantor at the German congregation in Stockholm. The text is translated or adapted by Petrus Johannes Gothus, otherwise mainly active as translator of Lutheran books. In spite of the fact that it is known to be the oldest polyphonic Typendruck produced in Sweden, a detailed description of its musical content has hitherto been lacking. The aim of this article is to remedy this situation through a systematic investigation of the print itself and those involved in its making. This sheds some important light on its time and circumstances in Stockholm in the late 16th century. It is suggested that the song, which is dedicated to the citizens and the Christian congregations in Stockholm, probably was sung (and intended to be sung) by choirs during the services in the churches, throughout Sweden, primarily in Stockholm. The mention of Uppsala in a previously overlooked contemporary handwritten note on the only surviving copy, shows that there is a historical connection of provenance between this copy and the diocese city. An appendix gives a modern edition of the song, which is adapted for mixed voices and for practical use.