The German singer, composer and writer Johannes von Soest (1448–1506), also referred to as Steinwart or Steinwert, is the author of a vernacular autobiography in verse. One of the very few such documents written by a musician, it gives a highly personal insight into his career, which extended from his training as a chorister in Soest to the ducal chapel in Cleves and afterwards to Bruges (in the company of two unnamed English musicians), Aardenburg (Overijssel), Maastricht, possibly Cologne, Kassel and finally Heidelberg, where he was appointed as Kapellmeister. He subsequently decided to become a physician. The article includes a complete transcription of the text, whose original was destroyed during the Second World War, but has been preserved in Johann Carl von Fichard's rare edition of 1811, and a translation of the sections of musical interest. In an introduction his training and career choices are discussed, and his observations concerning musical practice are analysed.