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First page of the chorale part in the manuscript

The Loimijoki manuscript preserved in the Provincial Archives of Turku (Loimaan kirkonarkiston kirjaluettelo III d 1) consists of 130 folios. Besides the Lutheran gradual, it contains a Latin Hymnarium with approximately 60 melodies and 25 Sequences, and the Chorale part which is published here (fol. 110r-125v). In the 17th century the manuscript was the property of Johannes Salmenius, whose name is extant on its cover. After working as Director Cantus at the Cathedral school in Turku, he became Vicar of the parish of Kuopio in eastern Finland, and died there in the year 1683.

The Chorale part contains 78 hymns with 77 different melodies (no. 63 = no. 12). Under the majority of the melodies, the entire Swedish text of the first stanza has been written. Some of the chorales, however, only have the initial words of the text, and 14 chorales have no text added.

The collection of chorales can be divided into five sections. In particular, the first (1-14) and the fifth (53-78) consist primarily of chorales linked with the Swedish hymnal printed already in the year 1536, while the chorales of the second (15-33) and fourth (46-52) sections are related to those of later hymnals (1562, 1567, 1572). The latter section surprisingly contains mostly melodies from the Psalter of Burkardt Waldis (1553). The chorales of the third (34-45) and fifth (53-78) sections appear in the same order as in the hymnal of Valentin Babst (1545), but interrupted by the fourth section, and also show detailed similarities with the melodies of Babst's hymnal.

Of the 77 melodies of the Loimijoki manuscript, 63 are similar to the versions found in the 1624 Kangasala manuscript. However, the melodic lines may differ both from the 1624 Kangasala group and also from the hymnal of the Danish Bishop Hans Thomissøn (1569), which was very significant for both Sweden and Finland. 41 of the melodies appear in the oldest Swedish chorale manuscript, Olaus Ericis Sångbok (ca 1600). Ten of the 14 chorales without text mentioned above are melodies found in the Babst hymnal but not found in the Kangasala manuscript. Nor are these melodies to be found in the chorale collections printed in 1697 and 1702, in spite of the fact that both these collections contain more than 50 chorales from the Loimijoki manuscript. Four of the chorales without text, namely nos. 38, 44, 60 and 75, also appear in other manuscripts, but the following ten are uniquely in the Loimijoki manuscript and not in other Swedish or Finnish manuscripts.

Nr 32.

Wälsignatth ware Jesu nampn: Waldis 1553, Ps. 32 WOl dem menschen dem sünden vil; OES fol. 85a; Mönsterås 1646 p. 191/Alia. - In Finland: 1889:114 and 1943:131. Zahn 7562, DKL A91 1553/06.

Nr 33.

O Herre Gudh aff himmelrijk, hwadh: Waldis 1553, Ps. 127 Wo Gott nicht selb das Haus aufricht; Thomissøn 1569 fol. 203b Vden Herren opholder vort Huss oc gaard - Similar to Waldis-chorale but shortened (Waldis: - Zahn 4474, DKL A183 1553/06. (compare with HMV Nr. 49 ELlei cartnoit ja taloita.)

Nr 61.

Klug 1533 fol. 84a Wo Gott der Herr nicht bey vns helt. Zahn 4442, DKL Ee4 1531/03.

Nr 65.

Klug 1533 fol. 106a Inn Gott geleub ich das er hat. Zahn 8391, DKL Ee15 1533/02.

Nr 66.

Klug 1533 fol. 103b Hilff Gott wie ist der menschen not so gros. Zahn 8393, DKL Ee14 1533/02.

Nr 68.

Klug 1533 fol. 123b O Herre Gott/ dein Göttlich wort, like Babst 1545/I nr L; already in the collection of Hans Lufft 1526. - Zahn 5690. - Compare with Joh. Kugelmann 1540 nr 17 NVn lob mein Seel den Herren. Zahn 8244, DKL Ee3 1526/11.

Nr 71.

Babst 1545/I nr. LXIII O lux beata Trinitas / Der du bist drey in einigkeit. Zahn 335b, DKL Eg40A 1545/01.

Nr 72.

Michael Weisse 1531 fol. M VIIb ES wirt schier der letzte tag herkome; like Babst 1545/II nr XXXVI. - Loimijoki follows Babst. Zahn 1423, DKL Eg73A 1545/01.

Nr 73.

Klug 1533 fol. 39a Ach Gott von himel sih dar ein; mostly Hilf Gott, wie geht das immer zu (Klug 1535 fol. 41 Ps. 2); JSW 7 and HMV 11. Zahn 4453, DKL Ee9 1533/02.

Nr 75.

Babst 1545/II nr VIII In dich hab ich gehoffet HERR; before Reformation. Da Jesus an dem Kreutze stund. Zahn 1706, DKL Ek7 1545/01.

Nr 76.

The profane Frölich so wil ich singen bevor 1506, thereafter in a Maria-song with same initial words 1506. As Protestant chorale in Babst 1545/II nr. XI O reicher Gott im throne. Zahn 7212a, DKL B3B 1545/01.

Nr 77.

Val. Schumann 1539, Babst 1545/II nr XIIII Hilff Gott das mir gelinge. Zahn 4329a, DKL Ek8 1545/01.

This group of chorales without text is not known to have been in common use in Sweden in the 16th and 17th centuries.

The Credo melody without text (no. 78), which can be considered the final melody of the chorale part, resembles the versions printed in the year 1578 in Latin and Swedish. The Nicaean creed with its melody was favoured by King Johan III of Sweden, and also appears in subsequent years as an addition to hymnals, but later fell into disuse for several years in the early 17th century. The text returns, however, for example in the Finnish hymnal of the year 1646, and the melody in the later printed collections (1697:5, 1702: 5).

The manuscript lacks a date of origin. The compiler and copier may be signified by the initials "P.S.A." on folios 5r-16v of the Tonarium included in the manuscript. The final initial may signify the word "Aboensis" (inhabitant of Turku). The watermark on the paper resembles those from the end of the 16th century, and a Finnish document from the year 1581 has been discovered which was written on paper of the same type. The Finnish hymn texts found at the front of the Chorale section originate either from the collection of Michael Agricola, or from the codex of Matthias Joannis Westh or from the collection of Jacobus Finno, i.e. from approximately the years 1540-83. The Loimijoki manuscript, like the Swedish hymnals of the late 16th century, lacks the polemical anti-popery hymn O Rom går thet nu så medh tigh (Rvomi röyckjä cuing kätes käy nyt) [O Rome, you will now be suffering]. This hymn returns, however, in all of the most important Swedish and Finnish chorale manuscripts from the 17th century (and is still found in 1697:236, 1702:240). On these grounds and on the grounds of the characteristics mentioned above, it can be presumed that the Loimijoki collection, or at least its model, has its origin as early as the period of the well-known Liturgical Quarrel, and so in the activities of King Johan III after the year 1575 (see Schalin I, 266-277, II, 15-47), and is thus chronologically earlier than the above-mentioned Swedish chorale manuscript of Olaus Erici.

More details in: Schalin I, 51-52 nr 106; Lagercrantz I, 38-42 nr 19.