Music in Early Lutheranism: Shaping the Tradition


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Fine survey of the history of music in early Lutheranism and the most prominent Lutheran composers of that era from Johann Walter to Heinrich Schuetz. Apr 29, Erin rated it really liked it.

Composer and Vocalist

Finished this quite a while back but keep forgetting to mark it. Great book for anyone interested in our hymns, liturgy and music.

Tim Schalk rated it it was amazing Aug 29, Christopher marked it as to-read Feb 26, Kimberly marked it as to-read Jan 17, Georg added it Jun 17, Christine marked it as to-read Nov 04, Alan Kornacki added it Dec 26, Alexa marked it as to-read Jan 06, William Witwer marked it as to-read Jan 19, Joy marked it as to-read Jun 11, Chad added it Sep 07, In 16 th century Europe, there was an atmosphere of unrest.

There was a very poignant sense of uneasiness hovering around, from the peasant filled streets to the aristocratic courts; people had had enough of the deceit and lies. In response to all of these problems, a man named Martin Luther, a monk from a friary in Erfurt, spoke up.


  • Music in early Lutheranism : shaping the tradition () in SearchWorks catalog.
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  • Along with this reformation came great changes in worship, music, church practices, and common traditions; a definite split from the Catholic Church occurred, and many religions were birthed, one of the most prominent, still today, being Lutheranism. Lutheranism, following the practices and teachings of Martin Luther, redefined worship and birthed a new style of church music that had never been seen up until this point: This was a pivotal moment in not only church and music history, but history as a whole.

    Although Luther wanted to break away from the Catholic Church, some persisted in this early era of the Lutheran church. It has often so stimulated and stirred me that I felt the desire to preach.

    Music in Early Lutheranism

    This idea is still felt today in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. Many types of worship are borrowed from other denominations: Also, as predicted by Luther, there is a definite split even in this specific denomination of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, over what type of music and liturgy should be allowed in church: Because of this, early services which are more traditional and late services which are more contemporary have become a staple among Lutheran churches.

    This takes the emphasis off of God and focuses it more on practice which should be a churches last concern. Despite his best efforts, people still put too much emphasis on the traditions and practices rather than God himself, even within the religion he himself created and championed, showing the power that differences in opinion have on our hearts and minds in every matter.

    Staying with his roots, Luther continued the Catholic tradition of the Mass in his new church, but with less strict guidelines and more congregation participation rather than the entirety of the service being performed solely by the choir, cantor, and the priests. Its sections consisted of nearly all vernacular language German with very little Latin; in contrast, prior to this, in , Luther had composed his Formula missae for the Lutheran church in Wittenberg; it was entirely in Latin. We see that Luther was not specifically trying to break away from Latin, but rather make the Divine Service more accessible to everyone, for not every person read and understood Latin, but most every person was perfectly fluent in speaking the vernacular language of their area, in this case, German.

    The Music of Early Lutheranism - Shaping the Tradition (1524-1672) (Paperback)

    Both of these traditions are still widely practiced in Lutheran Churches across the world, usually three to four hymns are sung on a normal service day with a sermon splitting the service in half. In regards to chanting and speaking within this mass, all but the sermon from the priest was chanted by the choir, cantor, and congregation. Luther, being a singer and composer himself, was very aware of the various musical conventions of the Catholic Church and continued many in his Mass. The Gospel, recited in German, was part of the Proper and sung in mode 5: In contrast, the Kyrie, recited in the traditional Greek language, was part of the Proper and sung in mode 1: Just as Catholic music grew out of its humble beginnings in ancient plainsong, Lutheran music gradually evolved from its roots in the chorale.

    Most notably the Musae Sioniae —10 , a nine volume collection of more than chorales and different sacred pieces by Michael Praetorius.

    PBS - Martin Luther – Complete documentary. (Parts 1 & 2)

    It featured newly composed chorales set homophonically, polyphonically, and monophonically, chorales set to popular folk tunes, madrigal style hymns, cantus-firmus based compositions, and a new style of piece that took preexisting chorales melodies and set them polyphonically, known as chorale motets ; these became very popular. As time passed these motets began to incorporate more complex and varied polyphony, incorporating new styles of imitation that broke away from the Franco-Flemish tradition of Josquin; however, this brought about another schism within the church that Luther had alluded to previously: These motets were not accessible to the general congregation who were used to singing simple, monophonic chorales with little digression, and who were, for the most part, not trained musically.

    The only remaining option was for the choir to perform these motets, but for many, this resembled the Catholic tradition too closely and was met with opposition, thus creating more splits within the church over these trivial matters. Despite quarreling over the use of a choir, it has continued today and even the practice from this time period is similar.

    Music in Early Lutheranism: Shaping the Tradition Music in Early Lutheranism: Shaping the Tradition
    Music in Early Lutheranism: Shaping the Tradition Music in Early Lutheranism: Shaping the Tradition
    Music in Early Lutheranism: Shaping the Tradition Music in Early Lutheranism: Shaping the Tradition
    Music in Early Lutheranism: Shaping the Tradition Music in Early Lutheranism: Shaping the Tradition
    Music in Early Lutheranism: Shaping the Tradition Music in Early Lutheranism: Shaping the Tradition

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