'My heart has made a pact with love' | 'Mein hertz hat sich mit lieb verpflicht'
Introduction to the Text
The first printed songbook with songs primarily in German was printed in July 1512 by the Augsburg printer Erhard Oeglin (ca.1470-1520). The songbook consists of four part books – it is also the first German song collection with four voices throughout - and contains 49 songs with a mixture of spiritual and secular content; 43 of which are in German and 6 in Latin. Oeglin was an innovative printer, credited as one of the first printers to print musical notation with movable type and as one of the first printers of “Zeitungen” – news-sheets. Oeglin does not attribute any of the songs to particular composers but some of these songs do appear in other songbooks of this period where they are attributed to various composers active at the Imperial court, including Ludwig Senfl, Paul Hofhaimer and Heinrich Isaac. These songs are collectively known as tenor lieder, as the melody is usually carried by the tenor line. This was the prototypical song type in Germany at the turn of the sixteenth century and enjoyed particular prominence at the court of the Emperor Maximilian.
Saunders, Steven, “Music in Early Modern Germany” in Max Reinhart (ed.), Early Modern German Literature 1350-1700 (Rochester: Camden House, 2007)
Keyl, Stephen, “Tenorlied, Discantlied, Polyphonic lied: Voices and instruments in German secular polyphony of the Renaissance” in Early Music 20, 3 (1992)