Kirkkomusiikin osastoVirtuaalikatedraali Sibelius-Akatemia

Opening page
   On the manuscripts   Old hymn tunes   Loimijoki-manuscript



17th Century finnish hymn melodies in manuscript form   The manuscript of Loimijoki
The three related manuscripts   The origin of the melodies
The manuscript of G. G. Gammal   The later chorales from Gammal's manuscript
The "school song books" from the second half of the l7th century   
The significance of the Finnish chorale manuscripts   
The earlier facsimiles   Sources and literature



Musical manuscripts from the end of the 16th and the beginning of the 17th century containing liturgical materials intended for use in churches have been discovered in various Finnish archives. The sources generally supply a Graduale and a Kyriale, but sometimes a Hymnarium is also included. Of particular interest are the Notae Psalmorum sections found in some of the manuscripts, which consist of the melodies of Lutheran hymns in the Swedish and Finnish languages. These materials published here on the internet include the hymn melodies from four manuscripts described according to the original manuscripts or early copies:

Loimijoki (1580s-90s?)
Liber Templi Ilmolensis (pre-1624?)
Kangasala (1624)
Notae Psalmorum (1620s?)

The best known is the manuscript from the year 1624 which was discovered in the archives of Kangasala Church. In his 1976 dissertation, T. I. Haapalainen examines the origin of these hymn tunes and their relationship with the Swedish and Finnish Hymnals and with two other manuscripts, Liber Templi Ilmolensis, found in Ilmajoki church archives, which is now preserved in the Finnish National Library and the third manuscript known only by the name Notae Psalmorum (NP). In the order of their hymns, as well as in their tunes and melodic forms, Kangasala (1624), Liber Templi Ilmolensis and Notae Psalmorum are remarkably alike. It appears that they must have had a common original source. The collections have an almost identical basic part, in which the order of the hymns, with some exceptions, is also similar to that of the Swedish hymnals printed in Stockholm 1586, 1589 and 1594.

The manuscript of Loimijoki

The Loimijoki manuscript, originally found in the archives of Loimijoki (now Loimaa) parish and now in the Turku Provincial Archives, appears quite singular in comparison with the others mentioned above. The manuscript also contains, in addition to the quite conventional Graduale section, choral melodies. These chorales differ significantly from those of the above collections. Although the handwriting of the copyist points to the 17th century, a comparison of the content of the collections with the melodies found in the hymnals and other sources indicates that the original collection may originate from as early as the 1580s. All its rubrics refer to hymns in the Swedish hymnal from the year 1572, whereas the extensive Swedish chorale manuscript of Olaus Erici, known as the earliest of its kind, has been regarded as based on the 1576 hymnal.
More on Loimijoki-manuscript


The three related manuscripts

Liner Templi Ilmolensis (LTI), Kangasala 1624 and Notae Psalmorum (NP) have in common a similar selection of hymns and also show many detailed similarities. The original section of the chorales in the LTI, or its precursor, may have been written as early as the1580s or 1590s. This view is supported by the fact that its hymns only have the initial words in Swedish, while in the two other manuscripts they are written in both Swedish and Finnish. The central original section has later been expanded with the addition of the melodies of Swedish hymns in all three manuscripts, several of which became known in the 1590s, and some of which were also furnished with initial words in Finnish. Another apparent addition contains hymns from the hymnal of Hemming of Masku (c. 1605, 242 hymns) in the same order as in that hymnal. These additions are slightly different in each manuscript. Kangasala 1624 and NP contain at the end another Finnish section containing texts mainly taken from the first Finnish Hymnal (c. 1583, 101 hymns), which was compiled by Jacobus Finno.

The 11 chorales of this final section are not found in the major Swedish sources of the 17th century, which include the oldest of them, the manuscript of Olaus Erici (c.1600), and the manuscript from Mönsterås (1646). Some tune references in Kangasala 1624 and LTI are to earlier Latin sources, among which are the Hymnars or the "Carminale", referring to the well-known Piae Cantiones (1582). The bishop of Viborg, Olavus Elimaeus, published a hymnal in 1621 with 153 hymns, of which 147 are found in the earlier Finnish hymnals.


The origin of the melodies

Most chorales in the manuscripts have a German origin. The majority (almost 40) of them, and in addition some chorales without texts in the Loimijoki manuscript, belong to the core chorales of the German Reformation. More than 20 chorales are taken from the Psalter published by Burkhard Waldis in1553, some of which are still in use in Sweden and Finland. The other and surprisingly large group of German origin comprises about 30 secular folk tunes. Some of these are known in Germany only in connection with their original texts (historical songs, love songs, scurrilous songs and so on), and such tunes have only been used for sacred texts in Sweden and in Finland. Some of these secular folk tunes from the 15th and 16th centuries live on today only because they were transformed into Nordic hymn tunes, at the latest by the beginning of the 17th century.

The manuscripts contain ten or so French psalm melodies of the 16th century, whereas the first Finnish hymnals do not yet contain, for example, the texts of the Huguenot Psalter from the years 1539-62. These melodies are from six Psalters printed in 1542-62 and were used in the eastern part of Sweden, which means that the Finnish-speaking parishes of the Church of Sweden at that time may have had contacts with France during the Huguenot period. Four Dutch psalm melodies, mainly secular melodies (dated to 1539 or 1540) have possibly been transmitted through the Danish Hymnal of Hans Thomissøn (1569). Surprisingly, the roots of some Central European chorales may turn out to be Bohemian.


The manuscript of G. G. Gammal

The fourth Finnish collection of chorales from the beginning of the l7th century is not dealt with in this material. It is a later addition (fol. 81-109) to the manuscript known as Liber Olaui Laurentii (latest 1585) from the archives of Vöyri Church. This chorale collection is presumed to have been completed before the year 1646, and the compiler may have been Gustavus Gabrielis Gammal, who has left his name on the inside page of the back cover, and who was the son of a clergyman from Vöyri. After studying at Åbo Academi in Turku in the 1640s, Gammal worked first as an assistant priest and later as the Vicar of the Parish of Vöyri from 1684 to 1686 when he died. The collection is the largest to have been preserved from that time and contains more than 180 melodies. Unfortunately, it is in rather bad condition, and the chorales are hardly legible. The 98 hymns at the beginning of the collection have the same melodies as in the collections mentioned previously, but the order of the hymns differs both from these collections and from the Finnish hymnals. The hymns numbered 99-183 seem to have been added later. Their order follows that of the Kangasala manuscript as do the hymns in another apparent addition numbered 184-196. Only insignificant deviations are found in the melodic forms. The initial words O Herre Gudh som all ting skoop (the hymn Lucis creator optime, Swedish translation by Olavus Petri in 1536) in the 1624 Kangasala manuscript (fol. 11r) relate to a hymn melody dating from the 14th century at the latest, while the Liber Templi Ilmolensis manuscript also contains a fragment from the beginning of the melody. In Gammal's source, the melody has been recorded in its entirety. Like the three other hymn melodies of the collections, this melody was transcribed using a traditional quadrate notation. The Finnish translation of the above text (O Herra Jumala qui caicki woith) occurs without a melody in the so-called Antifonarium of Magnus Andreae found in the archives of Tammela Church (HYK Cö I 9).

The later chorales from Gammal's manuscript

The manuscript contains two chorales missing from the other collections mentioned above: In dulci jubilo and Wendt aff thin wrede (the Swedish translation of Aufer immensam according to the Uppsala Hymnal of 1616). The manuscript also contains melodies for some Swedish texts unknown in sources earlier than the presumed (lost) Swedish hymnal of Sigfridus Aronus Forsius (1608). The melodies for Aus Wasserflüßen Babylon and Lobet den Herren deserve mention, as both are also included in the Notae Psalmorum.

Among the chorales in the manuscript is also found the funeral Responsorium I ståft och sand och swarta muld [In ash and sand and black soil], which is one of the liturgical songs found in the Kangasala manuscript and in Liber Templi Ilmolensis. The song referred to is also included in the Liber Cantus printed in Uppsala in 1620 as well as in the hymnal of Enchiridion of Rudbeck (1622), while the Finnish translation Mustan mullan tuhwan, tomun was not included in the Finnish hymnal until 1701.


The "school song books" from the second half of the l7th century

In all likelihood, the "school song books", which have been linked with their possible writers Zachris Colliander, Henricus Malm and Thomas Sackelius, date from the latter part of the l7th century. About 120 melodies have been written on the 45 leaves of Colliander's manuscript, 82 on the 40 leaves preserved from Malm and about 40 in Sackelius' manuscript with 100 leaves. All of these melodies have Finnish texts as well as Swedish. The order of the melodies may be quite random. In addition to the basic material in general use, there are also several melodies linked with the melodies of later hymns of the l7th century, some of which are older chorales not found in the earlier Finnish sources.


The significance of the Finnish chorale manuscripts

Of the Nordic manuscripts of the early part of the l7th century containing Swedish and German hymn melodies of the 16th century, the Finnish compilations have proved to be the most extensive. The collections presented here constitute concrete evidence that the eastern, in practice the Finnish, congregations of the Swedish Church possessed and used a large, versatile and partially independent collection of hymn melodies at the beginning of the l7th century. The manuscripts contain almost 50 melodies which are not found in the Swedish sources from the same period, and have transmitted these melodies as the source material of later Finnish chorale collections. So the 249 melodies of the printed 'Yxi Tarpelinen Nuotti-Kirja' [A Needful Book of Notes] (1702) include about 150 chorales found in the manuscripts. The sources referred to form a liturgical memorial illuminating the Finnish church worship and congregational song of the beginning of the l7th century. At the same time they supply proof of the phase in the historical development of hymn melody in which many a secular Central European folk tune was establishing its position among the hymn melodies of the Lutheran Church of Sweden as a Nordic chorale.


The earlier facsimiles

Two of the chorale manuscripts mentioned above, Kangasala 1624 and Liber Templi Ilmolensis, have earlier been published as facsimiles (1976 and 1977) in the series 'Monumenta Hymnologica Fennica'. Because of an error in the printing house, only a few of these publications were made available.

New light has been shed on the history of l7th century Finnish chorales by two collections printed at that time which also have appeared as facsimiles. The oldest chorale source printed in Sweden and Finland in the l7th century is a small booklet with 11 chorales from the year 1608, published by the Finnish-born royal astronomer Sigfridus Aronus Forsius, who was Vicar of Tammisaari (Ekenäs in Swedish) at the time of his death in 1624. Forsius (an abbreviation of the epithet Helsingforsius) may have published an enlarged edition of the Swedish hymnal 'Een liten Psalmbook', originally from the year 1602. Until the 1970s this was known only by an incomplete exemplar of the enlarged 1614 edition. The chorale booklet 'Någhra Nyia Psalmers/ Loff sångers och Andelighe wijsors Thoner' [Tunes for some New Psalms, Hymns and Odes] printed in Stockholm in the same year is found in a bound volume of four Swedish books in the Herzog August Library of Wolfenbüttel, Germany. The facsimile was published in 1973.

Another source from the same period is the collection of four hymns called 'IV Suloista ja lohdullista kijtos ja rucous weisu' [Four sweet and comforting songs for praise and prayer] published in 1622 by Carolus Pictorius, who worked in Riga as an army chaplain. In the same year, one additional hymn was published as an appendix of a devotional book translated into Finnish by Pictorius. The only known exemplar of Pictorius' collection is preserved in the Finnish National Library. This is the oldest self-published book in Finnish, the oldest source for some of its texts, and also at the same time the oldest printed source of chorales in Finnish and the oldest known source of certain chorales from the area of the Swedish state of that period. The facsimile was published in 1965.


Sources and literature

Loimijoki music manuscript in the Loimijoki Church archive holdings of the Provincial Archives of Turku,
    copy in the Institute of Practical Theology of Åbo Akademi University
Kangasala music manuscript in the Kangasala Church archives (A VI 3),
    copies in the Finnish National Library (Mf/ms 17, AA IV 76)
Liber Templi Ilmolensis, music manuscript in the Finnish National Library (C III 36)
Notae Psalmorum, music manuscript in the Finnish National Library (C III 14)
Music manuscript of Gustavus Gabrielis Gammal in Vöyri (Vörå) Church archives,
    copy in the Finnish National Library (Mf/ms 15)


Then Swenska Psalm-Boken. Medh the stycker som ther til höra/ ... och Åhr 1697 i Stockholm af trycket vthgången ... (Facsimile. Malmö 1939; Värnamo 1985; introductio: Folke Bohlin.)


Yxi Tarpelinen Nuotti-Kirja. Josa Caickein sekä uutein että wanhain Suomalaisten wirten oikiat ja tawaliset Nuotit löyttän/ ... Prändätty Stockholmis ... Anno 1702. (Facsimile & introductio & English summary: Erkki Tuppurainen 2001, Vammala: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura.)

Kurvinen, P. J. I. 1929, Suomen virsirunouden alkuvaiheet v:een 1640. Helsinki.
Schalin, Olav D. 1946, 1947, Kulthistoriska studier till belysande av reformationens
    genomförande i Finland, I. Diss. Helsingfors 1946. II, Helsingfors 1947.
Lagercrantz, Ingeborg 1948, 1954, Lutherska kyrkovisor i finländska musikhandskrifter från 1500-
    och 1600-talen. Diss. Del I: Jul och påsk, Helsingfors 1948. Del II : Helge Torsdag, Pingst,
    Helga Trefaldighet. Helsingfors 1952 (1954).
Bohlin, Folke 1967. Olaus Ericis Sångbok. En handskriven liber cantus i Gamla Uppsala kyrko-
    arkiv. (Facsimile & introductio.) Uppsala.
Haapalainen, T. I. 1973, S. A. Forsius' koralhäfte och dess melodier. (Facsimile & introductio.) Åbo.
    1974, 1975, Carolus Pictoriuksen suomenkieliset virret v:lta 1622 ja niiden sävelmät. (Facsimile & introductio.)
    Helsinki: Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura.
    1976a, Kangasala 1624. (Facsimile & introductio.) Monumenta Hymnologica Fennica I. Tampere.
    1976b, Die Choralhandschrift von Kangasala aus dem Jahre 1624. Die Melodien und ihre Herkunft. Diss. Åbo
    1977, Liber Templi Ilmolensis. (Facsimile & introductio.) Monumenta Hymnologica Fennica II. Tampere.
Lyster, Jens 1974-76, En liten Psalmbok - en svensk 1600-talstradition. Hymnologiske Meddelelser
    4/1974, 2-3/1975, 1/1976.
Lempiäinen, Pentti 1988. Jaakko Finnon Virsikirja (1583). (Facsimile & introductio.) Mänttä:
    Suomalaisen Kirjallisuuden Seura.
Göransson, Harald 1992, Koralpsalmboken 1697. Studier i svensk koralhistoria. Diss. Göteborg.

Zahn, Johannes 1889-1893: Die Melodien der deutschen evangelischen Kirchenlieder. I-VI.
    Gütersloh. (Facsimile: Georg Olms Verlagsbuchhandlung, Hildesheim 1963.)
DKL (1993-): Das deutsche Kirchenlied. Kritische Gesamtausgabe der Melodien. Band 1 (Teil 1-3,
    Registerband): Die Melodien bis 1570. Band 2 (Teil 1-2): Die Melodien 1571-1580.
    Kassel: Bärenreiter Verlag.