The Choir and the Organ in Early Lutheranism
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The celebration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation brings with it an increased interest in all things Lutheran. Certainly one area of well-deserved attention is the rich tradition of a vibrant musical life in Lutheran congregations. This heritage--which continues to be lovingly passed from generation to generation--is due, in part, to the value Dr. Luther himself placed on music in worship. Because the organ and the choir continue to play a significant role in the ministry of most Lutheran churches today, it would be easy to assume that this has always been the case. Not necessarily so. Both essays, in a lucid and thorough manner, paint the picture of the role of the organ and the choir in early Lutheran worship, thus dispelling a number of myths and assumptions that things "have always been this way" and offering some useful reflections on what this all means for the faithful practice of church music in our own time.