Born: Feb­ru­a­ry 15, 1571, Creuz­burg an der Werra, Thür­ing­en, Ger­ma­ny.

Died: Feb­ru­a­ry 15, 1621, Wolfenbüttel, Ger­ma­ny.

His real name was Michael Schultheiß (German for “mayor,” which in La­tin is “Praetorius”).

Beginning in 1585, Praetorius stu­died the­ol­o­gy at the Un­i­ver­si­ty of Frank­furt an der Oder, where he was al­so an or­gan­ist. In 1595 (or ear­lier—other sourc­es say 1592), he be­came court mu­si­cian to Duke Hein­rich Ju­li­us von Braun­schweig. The Duke’s Re­si­denz (roy­al seat) was not in Braun­schweig, but in a few miles away in Wolf­en­büt­tel. At first Prae­tor­i­us was the Duke’s or­gan­ist; in 1604, he was ap­point­ed mas­ter of the Duke’s court mu­sic. The in­scrip­tion around the por­trait at the left reads, “Mi­chael Prae­tor­i­us, of Creutz­burg [sic] in Thür­ing­en, the Duke of Bruns­wick Or­gan’s and Choir Mu­sic’s Mas­ter, at the age of thir­ty-five, in the year 1606.”

From 1613-1616, Prae­tor­i­us was in Dres­den, at the court of the Kur­fürst von Sach­sen (Elect­or of Sax­o­ny). Then he re­turned to Wolf­en­büt­tel, but from that time on, he tra­veled fre­quent­ly in cen­tral Ger­ma­ny and was very ac­tive as a mu­sic­al ad­vis­er and Or­gan­i­sa­tor (or­gan­iz­er).

He was not on­ly a com­pos­er, but al­so a mu­sic­ol­o­gist. From 1605 to 1610, he ed­it­ed Mu­sae Si­on­i­ae, a col­lect­ion of 1244 ar­range­ments of songs and hymns in 9 vol­umes. From 1615 to 1619, he ed­it­ed his 3-vol­ume Syn­tag­ma mu­sic­um, about sac­red and pro­fane mu­sic­ol­o­gy.



  1. Es Ist Ein Ros’
  2. Praetorius 7
  3. Puer Nobis Nascitur, Fulton
  4. Shepherd Band Their Flocks, A
  5. Wenn meine Sünd’