Music Editions

G. H. Stölzel, “German Te Deum.” Madison: A-R Editions, 2010.  J. D. Heinichen, “Herr, nun lässest du deinen Diener in Friede fahren.” Stuttgart: Carus-Verlag, 1991. J. D. Heinichen, “Heilig ist Gott, der Herr Zebaoth.” Stuttgart: Carus-Verlag, 1989. 


Histortical Dictionary of Choral Music (671 pp.) Second Edition. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2023. 

Comments on the First Edition

“This book is an incredible accomplishment, successfully covering both familiar and lesser known individuals and repertoire, as well as the standard choral genres. It will prove useful for professionals and lay musicians alike, and will be particularly welcome in university graduate programs, which have long needed a resource of this type.” —Donald Neuen, former Distinguished Professor of Conducting and Director of Choral Activities, University of California at Los Angeles; Former Music Director, Crystal Cathedral, Garden Grove, California 

“The importance of Melvin Unger’s new book, Historical Dictionary of Choral Music, is immeasurable. The breadth of the scope of material is what one would expect, but the succinct details of definitions, personalities, styles, and political and artistic attitudes elevate the book to the level of masterwork.” —Robert Page, former Paul Mellon University Professor of Music, Director of Choral/Opera Studies, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania  

Additional Reviews: BooklistChoiceLibrary JournalEmerald Reference Review.

Comments on the Second Edition

“I found the first edition of Mel Unger’s Dictionary a wonderful resource as I know it will have been for other conductors and singers, teachers and students, professionals and amateurs alike! Working as a mixture of the above who never has enough time for the detailed research to which we all aspire, this book has been my constant and invaluable companion and I am delighted that there is now a second updated edition. Thank you Professor Unger!” —Simon Carrington, founder, The King’s Singers; professor emeritus, Yale University

“This welcome new edition of Mel Unger’s Historical Dictionary of Choral Music, like the first, will no doubt prove to be an indispensable resource for choral conductors and choral music enthusiasts, stu-dents and professionals alike. A wealth of practical information, carefully curated and organized by a seasoned conductor and teacher.” —Jeffrey Douma, The Marshall Bartholomew Professor in the Practice of Choral Music, Yale School of Music

J. S. Bach’s Major Works for Voices and Instruments: A Listener’s Guide. (152 pp.) Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2005. Reviewed: The American Organist 39/10 (October 2005): 98–99; Musical TimesReference & Research Book News. See below for a sample. 

Performance Practice of the Instrumental-Vocal Works of Johann Sebastian Bach. A revised translation of Karl Hochreither’s Zur Aufführungs-praxis der Vokal-Instrumentalwerke Johann Sebastian Bachs [Kassel: Merseburger, 1983]. (217 pp.) Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2002. Reviewed: On-line Bach Bibliography (December 2002); The American Organist (February 2003):87–88; Diapason (April 2003), 7–8; Early Music Today 11 (June-July 2003): 23; Musical Times 144/1883 (Summer 2003): 64–66; Eighteenth-Century Music, 1/1 (March 2004): 92–93; Music and Letters 85/4 (2004): 629–31.  

Handbook to Bach’s Sacred Cantata Texts: an Interlinear Translation with Reference Guide to Biblical Quotations and Allusions. (777 pp.) Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 1996. Reviewed in BACH – Journal of the Riemenschneider Bach Institute 27/2 (Fall–Winter 1996): 84–85; Choice (April 1997), Reference Quarterly (Summer 1997): 602–603; American Record Guide (November – December 1997): 296; Canadian University Music Review 17/2 (1997): 104–7; ARBA (1998): 542; Music and Letters 79 (1998): 114–18; Fontes Artis Musicae (January–June, 1999): 190–93; The American Bach Society Newsletter (Fall 1999): 4–5; The American Organist (August 1999):56; Queen’s University of Belfast, On-line Bach Bibliography (March 2000). Awarded national publication award by Association of Canadian Choral Conductors, 1998. 

The German Choral Church Compositions of Johann David Heinichen (1683–1729). (248 pp.) New York: Peter Lang Publishing, Inc., 1990. Reviewed in Die Musikforschung 45/4 (1992), Music and Letters (Oxford University Press) 73/3 (August 1992), Revue de Musicologie 78/1 (1992), Württembergische Blätter für Kirchenmusik 60/5 (September–October 1993), Notes: Quarterly Journal of the Music Library Association 49/3 (March 1993), International Choral Bulletin 13/2 (January 1994), Musik und Kirche 64/1 (January/February 1994).  

Articles, Chapters, & Reviews

Cambridge Encyclopedia of Historical Performance in Music, ed. Colin Lawson and Robin Stowell, s.vv. “Heinichen, Johann David.” London: Cambridge University Press, 2018. 

Cambridge Bach Encyclopedia, ed. Yo Tomita, s.vv. “Sacred Cantatas” (overview article of 20,000 words), “Trauer-Ode.” London: Cambridge University Press. (publication to be reassigned) 

Editor, BACH: Journal of the Riemenschneider Bach Institute 1998–2015. 2003 James P. Barry – Ohioana Award for Editorial Excellence.

Foreword to The Aesthetic of Johann Sebastian Bach by André Pirro, translated by Joe Armstrong. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield, 2014. 

“Chiastic Reflection in the B-Minor Mass: Lament’s Paradoxical Mirror,” in Exploring Bach’s B-minor Mass, ed. Yo Tomita, Robin A. Leaver, and Jan Smaczny. London: Cambridge University Press, 2013.  

Review: Facsimile of Original Performing Parts to Johann Sebastian Bach, “Allein zu dir, Herr Jesu Christ,” BWV 33. Autograph Score (Scheide Library, Princeton, New Jersey), Original Parts (Bach-Archiv, Leipzig, Thomana-Sammlung) and Text Booklet for the 13 to 16th Sundays after Trinity, and St. Michael’s Day, 1724 (Russian National Library, St. Petersburg). With a Commentary in German and English by Christoph Wolff and Peter Wollny. Published jointly by Bach-Archiv Leipzig and Bärenreiter Verlag, 2010, in Bach Notes, Spring 2011. 

Dictionary of Christian Spirituality, ed. Glen Scorgie, s.vv. “Bach, Johann Sebastian,” “Choral Music.” Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan Publishers, 2011.  

“Uncovering Text-Music Connections with a Relational Database: Towards an Objective Measurement of Pitch Diversity in Relation to Literary Themes in Bach’s Church Cantata Recitatives.”Computers and the Humanities 38/3 (August 2004): 271–97. 

“‘Ich elender Mensch’: Bach on the Soul’s Torment.” Paper presented at Passion, Affekt und Leidenschaft in der Frühen Neuzeit, 11th Congress of the Wolfenbütteler Arbeitskreises für Barockforschung, Wolfenbüttel (April 2–5, 2003), published by Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2005.  

Review of Die Quellen Johann Sebatian Bachs. Bachs Musik im Gottesdienst, ed. Renate Steiger (Heidelberg: Mantius Verlag, 1998) in The American Bach Society Newsletter (Spring 2001): 3, 8–9. 

Review of Theologische Bachforschung heute: Dokumentation und Bibliographie der Internationalen Arbeitsgemeinschaft für theologische Bachforschung 1976–1996, ed. Renate Steiger (Berlin and Cambridge MA: Galda & Wilch Verlag, 1998) in The American Bach Society Newsletter (Fall 2000): 4, 7. 

“Bach’s First Two Leipzig Cantatas: the Question of Meaning Revisited.”BACH – Journal of the Riemenschneider Bach Institute (Spring-Summer/Fall-Winter 1997): 87–125. 

“A Self-Diagnostic Check-up for Conductors.”The Choral Journal 35 (October 1994): 23–30. 

“Choral Flatting: Sometimes It’s a Matter of Register Transition.”The Choral Journal 29 (February 1989): 13–18.  

“Britten’s Hymn to St. Cecilia: An Exegesis.”The Choral Journal 22 (April 1982): 17–21. 

Review: Dooyeweerd, Herman, trans. John Kraay. Roots of Western Culture. Toronto: Wedge Publishing Foundation, 1979. Mennonite Brethren Herald, 23 October 1981.  

Assorted music and book reviews; articles in church publications.  

Program Notes

Notes for the annual Bach Festival at Baldwin Wallace University (now published as J. S. Bach’s Major Works for Voices and Instruments: A Listener’s Guide. [152 pp.]) Lanham, Maryland: Scarecrow Press, 2005.

Notes for the recurring Baldwin Wallace Focus Festival (featuring living composers in residence, among them Krzysztof Penderecki, John Corigliano, Loris Chobanian, William Bolcom, and Chen Yi)

Notes for the Washington Bach Consort: Christmas in Leipzig (see pdfs)

Anner Bylsma on Bach: Journal of the Riemenschneider Bach Institute