Michael Praetorius (probably February 15, 1571 – February 15, 1621) was a German composer, organist, and music theorist.
Praetorius was one of the most versatile composers of his age, being particularly significant in the development of musical forms based on Protestant hymns, many of which reflect an effort to improve the relationship between Protestants and Catholics.
Praetorius’ most recognizable piece from Terpsichore, “La Bouree,” became part of current popular culture in several ways, including as part of the song, “Ding-Dong! The Witch is Dead” by The Fifth Estate, first appearing on their album “Ding Dong! The Witch Is Dead,” released in 1967 by Jubilee Records, and now re-mastered and re-released on The Fifth Estate – Anthology 1 by Fuel 2000 Records / Universal Music Group. “La Bouree” was also played as the 7 AM time signal every weekday morning throughout the 1980s on WCPN, Cleveland’s NPR radio station. Several of his works have been used in the soundtrack of the popular Sid Meier game Civilization IV.