Melchior Franck (1573-1639), court music master and composer, was born in Zittau (modern-day Germany). He studied music probably in Zittau and definitely in Augsburg and was a composition student of Hans Leo Haßler, with whom he went to Nürnberg at the end of 1601. There he became "Schuldiener bei St. Egidien" and in 1603 music master at the court of Duke Johann Casimir in Coburg, a position which he held until his death.
Franck is one of the most significant German masters of the beginning of the seventeenth century, especially in the realm of secular composition, although the largest part of his oeuvre consists of vocal church music.
For choral singing he composed the "Gemmulae evangeliorum musicae" in 1623. Here each utterance of the Sunday gospel is set in the form of a motet with an inexhaustible wealth of expressive chordal transitions. Ludwig Friedrich Schöberlein made a great number of these motets accessible to church choirs in his "Schatz des liturgischen Chor- und Gemeindegesangs in der deutschen evangelischen Kirche, aus den Quellen vornehmlich des 16. und 17. Jahrhunderts geschöpft" (3 volumes, 1863-72) We owe Franck the melody of the hymn "Gen Himmel aufgefahren ist" and the melody for the deathbed song of Nikolaus Herman "Wenn mein Stündlein vorhanden ist", which is used in the "Gothaer Cantional" of 1646 for the song "Wenn ich in Todesängsten bin" of Johann Kempff. He probably composed the melody for "Jerusalem, du hochgebaute Stadt" of Johann Matthäus Meyfart, which appeared in an Erfurter Gesangbuch of 1663.