Launched in 2011 by Laaber-Verlag, Enzyklopädie der Kirchenmusik is a series devoted to the music of all Christian denominations. It will cover the broad spectrum of church music, including contemporary and popular developments, with numerous illustrations and musical examples.
Projected are a four-volume history and one volume each devoted to institutions and musicians; the series was inaugurated with the first history volume, Geschichte der Kirchenmusik. I: Von den Anfängen bis zum Reformationsjahrhundert.
In the preface to his collection Polyhymnia caduceatrix et panegyrica (1619) Michael Praetorius engaged in a play on words, juxtaposing the similar-sounding Latin terms concio and cantio. But the passage is not a mere display of cleverness—it is a theological assertion that musicologists have described as a manifesto on liturgical music.
Praetorius wrote (translated here): “for the completeness of worship it is not only appropriate to have a concio, a good sermon, but also in addition the necessary cantio, good music and song.” By stating that worship would be incomplete without “good music and song”—which he further deemed “necessary”—he was expressing the underlying premise of his entire career as a Lutheran church composer and cantor.
This according to “Concio et cantio: Proclamation and praise in song and music” by Daniel Zager; the article is published online here. Below, the Monteverdichor Würzburg and the Monteverdi Ensemble, conducted by Matthias Beckert, perform Praetorius’s Puer natus in Bethlehem from the same collection.