The second part of the paper, by extension, focuses more specifically
on the practice of inscribing scriptural, chorale and poetic texts on coffins,
and the relationship of these to texts to musical practices in the Lutheran
Church. While the texts themselves were sometimes selected in advance
by the deceased, contemporary documents show that the placement of these
texts — as with the careful positioning of family crests on the coffins
— was both systematic, hierarchical, and governed by convention.
By understanding something of these conventions, it is possible to relate
some of them to musical practices. Thus the unique formal design
of the opening Concert of Heinrich Schütz’s Musicalische Exequien,
attributed variously to Schütz and to the deceased Heinrich Posthumus
Reuß, must now be seen in the light of their adherence to a conventional
“reading” of the coffin.