Oldest complete Finnish songbook discovered in Dresden

Thursday, January 7, 2016

New year, new discovery: musicologist Suvi-Päivi Koski has uncovered the oldest known complete Finnish songbook at the SLUB in Dresden, according to the SLUBlog. It is entitled Yxi Wähä Suomenkielinen Wirsikiria (“A small Finnish songbook”), published by Hemmingius Henrici Maschoensis, and was printed in 1607 in Rostock, Germany.

The first Finnish songbook was published around 1583 by Jacobus Petri (Jaakko) Finno, but the only known copy - held by the University Library in Uppsala- is incomplete. Finno’s songbook contains mostly German and Swedish hymns that were adapted and translated into Finnish.

The newly discovered songbook, which is text only but complete, adds additional translations to this repertoire along with some works by Maschoensis.

The songbook is digitized and available online.

Image: Title page to Yxi Wähä Suomenkielinen Wirsikiria, SLUB Dresden, Lit.var.167,misc.1, http://digital.slub-dresden.de/id425718670 (CC-BY-SA 4.0).

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