Martin Luther on Music

Luther Making Music in the Circle of His Family by Gustav Spangenberg

Martin Luther advocated for uniting people as a congregation and worshipping God in heartfelt song. Before then, music was relegated to Roman Catholic priests and monks who sang in Latin, a language the common folk did not understand.

So it's not surprising he had strong feelings about music. Here is what Luther wrote as a forward in a collection of musical compositions. His peppery personality is on full display here.

Our dear fathers and prophets did not desire without reason that music be always used in the churches. Hence, we have so many songs and psalms. This precious gift has been given to man alone that he might thereby remind himself that God has created man for the express purpose of praising and extolling God. However, when man's natural musical ability is whetted and polished to the extent that it becomes an art, then do we note with great surprise the great and perfect wisdom of God in music, which is, after all, His product and His gift; we marvel when we hear music in which one voice sings a simple melody, while three, four, or five other voices play and trip lustily around the voice that sings its simple melody and adorn this simple melody wonderfully with artistic musical effects, thus reminding us of a heavenly dance, where all meet in a spirit of friendliness, caress and embrace. A person who gives this some thought and yet does not regard music as a marvelous creation of God, must be a clodhopper indeed and does not deserve to be called a human being; he should be permitted to hear nothing but the braying of asses and the grunting of hogs.

Meditation Time bookstanding today: 20 Quality of meditation (out of 10): 7

Practice Minutes on the keyboard today (out of 40): 15 minutes Quality of practice (out of 10): 5

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