Johann Anastasius Freylinghausen
(1670-1739)

Johann Freylinghausen studied theology at the Universities of Jena (1689), and Halle (1692). In 1695 he started work at the orphanage and Pþdagogium (educational institute) of Halle an der Saale. He married the directorÕs daughter and himself became director in 1727. He was also pastor at St. Ulrich Church in Halle. Freylinghausen wrote and composed 44 hymns.

In 1697, he published the first edition of his Geistreiches Gesangbuch (Spiritual Hymnal). The 1704 edition included 683 hymns (83 of them by Paul Gerhardt) with 174 hymn tunes. This hymnal was the most important hymn collection of the Pietistic period of Lutheran hymnody. In the following decades, more hymns were added, and by 1741 it had 1,581 hymns with 597 tunes. Many of the melodies in Freylinghausen's hymn collections were presented with figured bass, indicating that there was a growing acceptance of the sytle of basso continuo.

One of the most well know chroales from Freylinghausen's Gesangbuch is GOTT SIE DANK ("Spread, O spread thou mighty Word").

[Adapted from the Cyber Hymnal]


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