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14 The National Music of America.
especially for this part of musical worship. It was probably from these that the Lutheran chorales first arose.
Some of these old congregational melodies are weirdly intertwined with the history of the time. An example may be cited which not only shows the style of the Marien-lieder (as these songs of Mary were called) but the events at times connected with them.
During the fourteenth century the greatest pestilence swept through Europe that has ever been recorded in history. It was called "The Black Death," and claimed its victims by hundreds of thousands, in every country of the old world. In that dreadful epoch men sought to save their lives by isolation. Since a touch, the sweep of a passing garment, might bring death, many barred themselves up in their houses, with such provisions as they could gather, and sustained a strange siege against the invisible enemy without. In such a manner did