Book DescriptionSixteenth-century Lutherans sang hymns in church?-true or false? In this book, Joseph Herl draws on hundreds of liturgical documents, contemporary accounts of services, sermons, instructional and polemical writings on church music, and other sources to show that quite often the answer was "false." He then traces the path of Lutheran church music for the next two centuries to show how Lutherans acquired their reputation as the "singing church." This path was treacherous and fraught with conflict. In the sixteenth century, Lutherans were buffeted by Catholicism on one side and the Swiss Reformation on the other. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Lutheran churches were caught up in a debate over a new style of church music that many found more entertaining than devotional. This debate was to have a strong impact on musicians such as Johann Sebastian Bach and his contemporaries. By the end of the eighteenth century, Lutherans were trying to hold...

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