Vulpius, Melchior

Date of birth: 1570
Date of death: 1615

Melchior Vulpius (c.1570-1615) was a German Composer and schoolmaster. He was one of the most important Protestant composers of church music of his time in Germany. Together with his brother he latinized his family name (Fuchs) to Vulpius - both meaning fox.
Vulpius was born in Wasungen (Thuringia, Germany) in 1560 or 1570. Here he studied with Johannes Steuerlein. From 1588 he attended school in Speyer, where he studied with Thomas Walliser, and here he learned the musica poetica. Vulpius earned a living as a Latin teacher at the Latin School (Gymnasium) in Schleusingen. He was allowed to write music for the Lutheran Church, especially motets and songs.
He participated in the writing of three Passions of Jacob Meiland. Some manuscripts are found of these works dating from 1560-1670. These works had their influence on Vulpius’ own Matthew Passion. This Passion was very popular in Finland in the mid-17th century, but fell in oblivion, until in 2007 the Finnish Vulpius Passion tradition had its revival in south-east Finland.
From 1596 until his death in 1615 Vulpius was cantor and teacher at the Latin School in Weimar. He wrote several books of motets (Cantiones Sacræ); of these only The Canticum Beatissimæ Virginis Mariæ ( Jena, 1605) and the Opusculum Novum selectissimarum cantionum sacrarum (Erfurt, 1610) survived completely in university libraries.