Tunder started these as week-day organ recitals, but they became more generalised concerts in the church.

They may first have been afternoon concerts for businessmen who were waiting for the stock-exchange to open. Although Buxtehude moved them to Sundays at 4 pm, they still continued to be financed mainly by the business community. Indeed a donor would receive a printed libretto and be given a good seat. Admission to the church was, in true Hanseatic tradition, free to all citizens of whatever position in society; but it was not unknown for disorderly conduct to break out during the performances.