In 1525, a reprint of the Geistliche Gesangbuchlein* released in 1524 in Wittenberg appeared in Worms at Peter Schöffer the Younger (~1480-1547). The author was the “main chanter of the Lutheran church”, Johann Walter (1496-1570).
history of polyphonic Evangelical church music begins with this work. It is not
a congregational hymn book in today’s sense, but rather a collection of choral
pieces which include 38 Reformation hymns in elaborate three- to four-part
adaptations, besides 5 superb Latin motets.
Luther’s entire song creation from the years was included it, among others: Aus tiefer Not schrei ich zu dir (From deep affliction I cry out to you), Nun komm der Heiden Heiland (Now come, Saviour of the Heathens) and Wir glauben all an einen Gott (We all believe in one God).
Wittenberg first edition is only preserved incompletely, Schöffer’s second
impression represents the oldest complete existing version of this epoch-making
publication. Luther’s preface, in which he points to the instructional benefit
of singing, was copied in the tenor part-book.
An opened up tenor part-book of the Geistliche Gesangbuchlein can be seen on Hans Holbein’s famous painting, The Ambassadors (1533). The type face, especially the woodcut initial K on the left page, makes it clearly recognisable that the Worms issue served as a model, even if the numbering and order of the two songs is different in the actual song booklet.
* Johann Walter: Geistliches Gesangbüchlein (Worms 1525); published by Christian Schmitt-Engelstadt; Cologne 2017.