Luther the Musician
LUTHERAN CHURCH MUSIC is no separate species of music. It did not grow autonomously from some substance or principle belonging only to itself, nor, once it had appeared, did it shut itself off from other species of music. It drew its strength from the soil of a highly developed, nationally oriented art. The tempest of the new spirit that arose in Wittenberg assimilated effectively all that contemporary art and learning had created in all fields, even if, like some streams of humanism, it was hostile to such creations. Thus the reform movement also ingested the musical culture of the period. Quite consciously, it accepted what existed in order to use it for its own purposes. Thus Luther thought of all the arts and thus, especially, he thought of music. “Music in the service of Him who has created it”; variations on this idea appear frequently in Luther’s writings and pronouncements.
KeywordsChurch Service Folk Song Tenacious Root Musical Culture Practical Theologian
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