The National Music of America - online book

The Sources & Factors Influential In Forming America's Music.

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The National Music of America, 19
have been held in abomination by the early Pilgrims, while Luther believed in alternating choir music with congregational singing. A letter of the great reformer still exists, in which he exhorts a poor parish to make every effort to retain its choir as a musical model for the congregation. We shall see, in a succeeding chapter, how bitter was the Puri­tan opposition to organ-playing in divine ser­vice. This prejudice was entirely Calvinistic, not Lutheran; Luther believed in the em­ployment of the instrument in a very promi­nent manner. It was in the Lutheran epoch that the custom of interluding upon the organ between each line of the hymn was first introduced. In addition to this display of improvisation the hymn-tune was often given out with a degree of virtuosity that is incredible to the modern musician. To what an extent this organ display was carried by later Protestant churches may be gathered from the accompanying reproduction of one
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