Provisional Abstract. Between the 16th and 19th centuries the state influenced musical life in the Mecklenburg duchies in two ways: by regulation of cultural events through the imposition of orders, and by the granting of privileges relating to musical appearances. The term order (Ordnung) was fundamental to government in Early Modern Europe. Rationality and reason were seen as guarantors of a solemn life and of continuous economic development in all fields of social peace. Four elements of control which run through the early modern laws of Mecklenburg impacted directly on music and on the lives of musicians: the reduction of the excessive financial burden associated with public events among the inhabitants; the curbing of immoral behaviour; the sanctification of Sunday and other church holidays; and the suppression of certain traditional events like Carnival and Heischegänge (wassailing), and of guild communities. Up to the middle of the 17th Century music-making for village festivities, beyond the precincts of the city, still remained largely untouched by magistrates’ rights. This autonomy of the open countryside disappeared during the 17th Century with the Duke’s award of privileges to musicians of all the Mecklenburg districts. Such privileges enabled a musician to establish a monopoly in a specific administrative area, usually a county or Amt. The penetration of trained town musicians (municipal ‘waits’) into the rural landscape goes hand-in-hand with the displacement of traditional music and widespread reduction in the activities of village musicians. A continuous process of legislation led to changes in the nature and sound of festivities.