Praetorius Biography Update

Michael Praetorius Creutzbergensis, 1606, back side of the title page for a special edition of the first four installments of Praetorius’ Musae Sioniae (1607).

The reason I haven’t published any translations on this site in almost a year is that the vast majority of my translating work has gone into two projects, including a biography of Michael Praetorius (1571–1621). I submitted my final manuscript to Wipf and Stock Publishers on February 3—hopefully in time to be published in connection with the 400th anniversary of his death (February) and 450th anniversary of his birth (September) in 2021.

Titled Heaven Is My Fatherland: The Life and Work of Michael Praetorius, the Table of Contents will, God willing, read as follows:

  • List of Illustrations
  • Translator’s Preface
    • The Anniversary
    • Why Did I Undertake This Project?
    • Notes on the Translation
    • Assessment of Praetorius
  • Original Acknowledgments
  • Translator’s Acknowledgments
  • Annotated Abbreviations
  • Original Introduction
  • Chapter 1: Childhood and Youth
    • The Father, Michael Schulteis
    • Schooling in Torgau and Zerbst
    • Studies in Frankfurt an der Oder and Helmstedt
  • Chapter 2: At the Courts of Gröningen and Wolfenbüttel
    • Heinrich Julius (1564–1613), Bishop of Halberstadt and Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg
    • Michael Praetorius as Chamber Organist and Organ Specialist
  • Chapter 3: Marriage and Children
  • Chapter 4: Court Music Director and Composer
    • The Duties and Rights of the Court Music Director
    • Musae Sioniae (The Muses of Zion)
    • Musae Aoniae (The Muses of Aonia)
    • The Syntagma Musicum: A Compendium of the Musical Knowledge of the Time
    • Michael Praetorius and Prague
  • Chapter 5: Nonresident Music Director at the Electoral Court in Dresden and Musical Consultant at Other Princely Courts
    • The Polyhymniae
    • “Swan Song” and Death
  • Chapter 6: Postscript
    • The Bequest (Will)
    • The Memorial Slab
    • Estate
    • Praetorius’ Tracks in 400 Years of Music History
    • Praetorius in the Assessment of Posterity
  • Appendix I: Remarks on Praetorius’ Ancestry
  • Appendix II: Michael Praetorius’ Birthdate
  • Appendix III: Funeral Sermon and Tributes
  • Appendix IV: Translations of Primary Sources by Praetorius
    • A. Preface to MS Coll. (1606)
    • B. Dedicatory Epistle for Installment V of Musae Sioniae (1607)
    • C. Dedicatory Epistle to Duchess Elisabeth for the Reprint of Andreas Praetorius’ ΒΡΑΒΕΙΟΝ (1608)
    • D. Dedicatory Epistle for Volume I, Part 2 of the Syntagma Musicum (1615)
    • E. Prayers from the Pol. Cad. Part Books
  • Appendix V: Eyewitness Account of the 1614 Princes’ Convention in Naumburg
  • Appendix VI: Excerpts from Grossman’s Angst der Hellen und Friede der Seelen
  • Major Corrections and Improvements
  • Glossary
  • Bibliography
  • About the Author
  • About the Translator
  • Index

You can follow this book on Facebook here. More on my other project another time.