Initially Theile was a student of Scheffler, the Kantor of Magdeburg. He attended the university of Leipzig where he became a member of the university collegium musicum.
While at Leipzig Theile was able to study with Schutz. After moving to Lubeck he was befriended by Reincken and Buxtehude. In 1673 an appointment came through for the position of Kapellmeister at Gottorf. There Theile served Duke Christian Albrecht for many years including his flight to Hamburg. Theile helped to inaugurate the opera house in Gottorf. Following this he came to serve as Kapellmeister at Wolfenbuttel from 1685 until 1691. Later he served Duke Christian I of Merseburg but after 1694 Theile's whereabouts is unclear. He did move to Naumburg in 1718 to live with his son. The first publication by Theile was "Weltliche Arien" in 1667 which contains twenty four secular songs, duets, a quartet and instrumental fantasias. He composed his "St. Matthew Passion" in 1674. The most important music composed by Theile was the concerted sacred music. Thirty four of these are extant. "Andachtige Kirchen Music" was the last collection scored by Theile. He also wrote six treatises concerning counterpoint the most important of which was "Musikalisches Kunst-Buch" because it may have had an influence on Bach's writing of "Die Kunst der Fuge." Part of Theile's legacy are early examples of full-scale vocal fugues with two subjects. He was not content with mere imitation but he characteristically employed simple progressions, frequent key changes, and variations when using repeated material. Theile's motets show qualitative placements of apexes in the musical scores and contrasts of textures. ~ Keith Johnson, Rovi