Walther, Johann

Walther, Johann a German divine, was one of Luther's intimate friends. As a composer of tunes, he was able to assist the great Reformer in improving Church psalmody. In 1524 he published, with Luther's assistance, the first Lutheran Choral Book, containing some of his own tunes. He filled the office of precentor at Torgau, and was afterwards director of the choir to prince John Frederick, and to prince Maurice of Saxony. In 1530 he removed to Wittenberg, received the degree of A.M., and was appointed a lecturer in the university. In 1547 he removed to Dresden, where he probably died, in 1564; He is the author of a fine German hymn, Herzlich thut mich erfreulenn (Eng. transl. in Lyra Germ. 2, 288: "Now fain my joyous heart would sing"). See Koch, Geschd. des deusch. Kircheniedes, 1, 247, 285 sq.; 455 sq.; 2, 471; 8:655. — (B. P.)

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