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Johann Walther

1496-1570. German composer. A competent but not outstanding composer, he was closely associated with Martin Luther at Wittenberg. In 1524 they published in that city the famous Geystlich Gesangk-Buchleyn (Little Sacred Songbook). This was not a collection of hymns, but a choral collection in four and five vocal parts. The first edition contained forty- three pieces: five Latin motets, and the rest consisting of German Lieder (part-songs), of which twenty-three employed texts by Luther. It was the first Protestant book of its kind and went through many editions with changes of contents; it marked the beginning of the enormous literature of Lutheran choral music.