Songwriting and Chorale by Martin Luther

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Abstract

The five hundreth anniversary that we commemorated in 2017 is a good opportunity to remind the significance of vocal works by Martin Luther. Creative musical activity of Dr. Martin Luther is somehow in the shadow of his other historically significant activities. It is a well-known fact that he was an outstanding musician who could play lute and could sing. In his household, he constantly played music and sang, while he actively engaged his family in performing music. In performing the reformatory ideas, he was aware of the extremely important role of religious singing, which he started composing since 1523. He is the author of 38 songs – chorales, while at the same time, he is the author of 20 melodies. In most cases, he used the texts of the Psalms. From his chorals the best known is entitled Ein feste Burg is unser Gott – The Fortified Castle is the Lord our God, that became worldwide the anthem of the Protestants. Luther have become an important inspirational source for the next generation of composers, and they culminated in the work of Johann Sebastian Bach, including the works of contemporary Slovak composers – Roman Berger, Víťazoslav Kubička. The prevailing majority of Lutheran chorales is also the part of the Protestant Songbook in Slovakia.

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