Module B5: Protestant Music in Continental Europe (c.1520 -1750)

This module covers the main features of Protestant church music from the Reformation to J. S. Bach. The emphasis is thus on Lutheran church music, but one study area is concerned with the music associated with the Calvinist church. Organ music has been included on account of the substantial contribution made by organists to Lutheran worship at this time, but this is covered in less detail than the vocal music. A number of subsidiary yet substantial topics, such as the music of the Scandinavian churches or the theory of musical rhetoric as it affected church music, have been omitted.


Learning Outcomes

At the end of the module you will have acquired a broad knowledge and understanding of music for the Lutheran and Calvinist churches from the first two centuries of its development. You will also have gained an insight into the organ music of the Lutheran church, particularly that of J. S. Bach.


General reading

The only single volume that broadly covers this area of study is Friedrich Blume's Protestant Church Music: A History (1974), an expanded translation of his Geschichte der evanglischen Kirchenmusik (1964). This covers not only the Reformation period in much detail, but also gives useful summaries by different experts of subsequent developments in both the Lutheran and Calvinist traditions. Much of the published scholarship on the topics covered by this module is in German. Those with reading skills in German are encouraged to explore this extensive body of writing as far as they are able, but the module has been compiled with the English reader in mind. One general problem exists in this area: the often complex nature of German musicological categorisation is at times rendered impenetrable by problems of translation, and readers may well find themselves confused about the precise meanings of words such as Lied, Chorale, Cantional, Aria, Hymn and Cantata. Considerable vigilance is thus required to steer clearly through the terminology. The second edition (2001) of The New Grove will be of great importance for those who do not read German, and this is readily available at the www.grovemusic.com web-site. For a wider perspective on the period, try a general history book such as Early Modern Europe 1500-1789 by H. G. Koenigsberger (London, Longman, 1987).


Study areas

1 The Reformation I: Lutheranism

1.1 Luther’s views on music
1.2 Lutheran liturgy and chant
1.3 The chorale
1.4 Lutheran polyphony
1.5 Liturgical organ music

Suggested reading for study area 1:

Articles in The New Grove Dictionary, second edition (2001):
‘Lutheran Church Music’, sections 1 and 2
‘Chorale’, sections 1-6, 9-10
‘Chorale settings’, sections 1-2
Entries on Martin Luther, Georg Rhau, Leonhard Lechner, Sixt Dietrich & Johann Walter

Willi Apel, The History of Keyboard Music to 1700, 98-100, 347-9

Friedrich Blume, Protestant Church Music: A History, Chapters I ‘The Period of the Reformation’ (Blume, revised Finscher) and the first part of II (Blume)
The Period of the Counter-Reformation’, up to p.185
Ann Bond, ‘Plainchant in the Lutheran Church

Walter E. Buszin, ‘Luther on Music

Théodore Gérold, ‘Protestant Music on the Continent’, in The New Oxford History of Music iv, 419-38

Robin A. Leaver, ‘The Lutheran Reformation’ in The Renaissance, ed. Iain Fenlon, 263-85

Robin A, Leaver, ‘Music and Lutheranism’, in The Cambridge Companion to Bach, ed. J. Butt, 35-45

Martin Luther, Foreword to the Wittemberg Gesangbuch of 1524, transl. in Source Readings in Music History, 361-2

Gustave Reese, Music in the Renaissance, 673-88

Editions

There are three editions of Luther’s music: the D. Martin Luthers Werke: kritische Gesamtausgabe begun in 1883, an American edition entitled Luther’s Works by J. Pelikan and H. T. Lehmann (from 1955) and a more recent German edition Luthers geistliche Lieder und Kirchengesänge ed. M. Jenny (1985). The other crucial composers of the early Reformation period are Johann Walter and Sixt Dietrich. For Walter, see Johann Walter: Sämtliche Werke, ed. O. Schröder (1953-73), and for Dietrich see the various German editions listed in The New Grove. The chief Protestant composer towards the end of the 16th century is Leonhard Lechner, whose collected works are found in Leonhard Lechner: Werke, ed. K. Amelm & others (from 1954). For organ repertoire see in particular the tablature books of Elias Ammerbach (1571/1583, ed. C. Jacobs, 1984), Bernhard Schmid (1577, ed. in Das Erbe deutscher Musik xcvii-iii, 1997) and the Celle Organ Tablature of c.1601 (ed. in Corpus of Early Keyboard Music xvii, 1971).

Essay questions related to study area 1:

B5.1.1 To what extent were the nature and development of music in the early Lutheran church the result of Luther's own views on music?
B5.1.2 What was new and what was old in the music of the early Lutheran church?
B5.1.3 Outline the liturgies of the two principal Lutheran services, the Gottesdienst (with Communion) and Vesper, indicating what types of music could be employed during the course of the services, and the place of Latin in the new liturgies.
B5.1.4 Give an account of the origins and subsequent uses of the chorale in Lutheran church music of the sixteenth century, from its monophonic state to its varying position in hymn-style settings and basis for polyphonic compositions.
B5.1.5 Identify and outline the various strands of early Lutheran church music that were independent of the chorale.
B5.1.6 Explain how the organ was used in the Lutheran church of the sixteenth century and identify its repertoire. In so doing, try to account for our relatively thin knowledge of this music.

2 The Reformation II: Calvinism

2.1 Calvin’s views on music: music in church and chamber
2.2 Psalms and Spiritual Songs in German, French & Dutch
2.3 Domestic polyphony: Bourgeois, Goudimel, Le Jeune, Sweelinck

Suggested reading for study area 2:

Articles in The New Grove Dictionary, second edition (2001):

Reformed and Presbyterian Music’, Section I: Continental Europe

Entries on Loys Bourgeois, Jean Calvin, Claude Goudimel, Claude Le Jeune, Jan P. Sweelinck

Friedrich Blume, Protestant Church Music: A History, 127-134, and most of Chapter 5 by W. Blankenburg, ‘Church Music in Reformed Europe’, 509-70

Jean Calvin, Forewords to The Geneva Psalters of 1542 and 1565, transl. in Source Readings in Music History, 364-8

Charles Garside, ‘Calvin's Preface to the Psalter

Théodore Gérold, ‘Protestant Music on the Continent’, in The New Oxford History of Music iv, 438-49

Robin A. Leaver, ‘Goostly psalmes and spirituall songes’: English and Dutch Metrical Psalms from Coverdale to Utenhove 1535-1566

Frits Noske, Sweelinck, 46-81

H. L. Parker, John Calvin: a Biography

Editions

Calvin’s La forme des prières et chantz ecclésiastiques (1542) has been published in the Calvin-Studienausgabe, volume ii, ed. E. Busch (1997). The Marot & de Bèze Psalter has been reprinted in facsimile (1986), and P. Pidoux has edited Le Psautier huguenot du XVIe siècle (1962-9). A selection of Bourgeois’s 1547 homophonic Psalms has been edited by K. P. Bernet Kempers (1937), and the complete 1547 Psalms ‘en diversité de musique’ are in Schweizerische Musikdenkmäler iii (1960). For Goudimel there is the Claude Goudimel: Oeuvres complètes, ed. P. Pidoux and others (1967-83). For Le Jeune there are a number of editions and facsimiles (see The New Grove 2), including volumes in Recent Researches in the Music of the Renaissance (lxxiv-vi, 1989 and xcviii, 1995) and facsimiles published in 2000 (Tours). For Sweelinck’s psalm settings see volumes ii-v of the old complete edition ed. M. Seiffert and H. Gehrmann (1894-1901) or volumes ii-v of the new complete edition, ed. R. Lagas and others (Amsterdam, 1965-88).

Essay questions related to study area 2:

B5.2.1 Compare the views held on sacred music held by Luther and Calvin.
B5.2.2 Outline the emergence of development of the Reformed Psalter across Europe, identifying the main differences in musical setting adopted by the principal composers involved and indicating what is known about the manner of performance of the repertoire.
B5.2.3 Describe the major collections of polyphonic settings of Psalter melodies published during the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, comparing their contents to settings of the chorale and other melodies by Lutheran composers.

3 Lutheran church music in the early 17th century

3.1 Continuing traditions i: chorales and chorale settings
3.2 Continuing traditions ii: sacred polyphony
3.3 The emergence of the concerto style
3.4 Heinrich Schütz
3.5 Organ music: Samuel Scheidt

Suggested reading for study area 3:

Articles in The New Grove Dictionary, second edition (2001):

‘Chorale’, section 11
‘Chorale settings’, sections 2-3
Entries on Hans Leo Hassler, Michael Praetorius, Melchior Franck, Bartholomäus Gesius, Hermann Schein, Samuel Scheidt, Heinrich Schütz

Willi Apel, The History of Keyboard Music to 1700, 349-89

A. Arnold, Organ Literature: A Comprehensive Survey, i, 62-93

Lorenzo Bianconi, Music in the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1987), 133-47

Friedrich Blume, Protestant Church Music: A History, 134-85, 200-19

Manfred Bukofzer, Music in the Baroque Era, 78-96

Théodore Gérold, ‘Protestant Music on the Continent’, in The New Oxford History of Music iv, 452-64

Hans Joachim Moser, Heinrich Schütz: his Life and Work

Basil Smallman, Schütz

Geoffrey Webber, ‘The north German organ school’ in The Cambridge Companion to the Organ

Editions

There are collected editions for Hassler, Hans Leo Hassler: Sämtliche Werke, ed. C. Crosby (from 1961), Praetorius, Michael Praetorius: Gesamtausgabe der musikalischen Werke, ed. F. Blume and others (1928-60), Scheidt, Samuel Scheidt: Werke, ed. G, Harms, C. Mahrenholz and others (from 1923), Schein, J. H. Schein: Sämtliche Werke, ed. A. Prüfer (1901-23) and J. H. Schein: Neue Ausgabe sämtlicher Werke, ed. A. Adrio and others (from 1963), and Schütz, Heinrich Schütz: Sämtliche Werke, ed. P. Spitta and others (1885-1927), Heinrich Schütz: Neuer Ausgabe sämtlicher Werke, ed W. Bittinger and others (from 1955) and Heinrich Schütz: Sämtliche Werke, ed. G. Graulich and others (from 1971). Much of the music by Franck & Gesius remains unpublished in modern times, but consult The New Grove 2 for details of what is available. For an important anthology of small-scale works with commentary, see A. Kirwan-Mott, The Small-Scale Sacred Concertato in the Early Seventeenth Century (Ann Arbor, 1981). For Scheidt's organ music use Samuel Scheidt: Tabulatura nova, ed. H. Vogel, i-iii (from 1994).

Essay questions related to study area 3:

B5.3.1 Identify the various treatments of chorale melodies employed by German composers of the early seventeenth century, with particular emphasis on the encyclopaedic collections of Michael Praetorius.
B5.3.2 Outline the cultivation of the mass and motet by Lutheran composers in the early seventeenth century, comparing the repertoire to that by German and Italian Catholic composers of the period.
B5.3.3 Examine the emergence of the stile nuovo in Lutheran church music, with particular reference to composers who are known to have travelled to Italy. Was this development helped or hindered by the social conditions during the Thirty Years War?
B5.3.4 Give an account of the music publications of Heinrich Schütz, relating them to the circumstances of his life and career.
B5.3.5 Place Scheidt's Tabulatura nova (1624) in the context of the history of north German organ music in the seventeenth century, looking both at its inheritance from Sweelinck and the ways in which it did or did not foreshadow subsequent developments.

4 Lutheran church music in the late 17th century

4.1 Lutheran orthodoxy and mysticism
4.2 The influence of Italian music and musicians
4.3 Social and geographical factors
4.4 The concertato motet
4.5 The development of Passion music
4.6 Organ music

Suggested reading for study area 4:

Articles in The New Grove Dictionary, 2nd edition:
‘Chorale settings’, section 4
‘Cantata II. The German cantata to 1800’, sections 1-4
Entries on Dieterich Buxtehude, Christoph Bernhard, Georg Böhm, Balthasar Erben, Kaspar Förster, Christian Geist, Andreas Hammerschmidt, Johann Meder, Johann Rosenmüller, Franz Tunder and others

Willi Apel, The History of Keyboard Music to 1700, 551-680

Friedrich Blume, Protestant Church Music: A History, 186-99, 220-50

Basil Smallman, The Background of Passion Music

Paul Steinitz, ‘German Church Music’, in The New Oxford History of Music v, 557-737

Kerala J. Snyder, Dieterich Buxtehude: Organist in Lübeck

Geoffrey Webber, North German Church Music in the Age of Buxtehude

Geoffrey Webber, ‘The north German organ school’ in The Cambridge Companion to the Organ

Editions

The old Buxtehude edition, ed. W. Gurlitt & others (1925-58) has been restarted by K. Snyder & others (1987). There are a few collected editions of church music by other composers in this period, including Nicolaus Bruhns: Gesamt Ausgabe der Werke, ed. F. Stein (1937), F. Tunder: Kantaten und Chorwerke, ed. M. Seiffert (1890) and Georg Böhm: Sämtliche Werke, ed. J. Wolgast (1963), but the modern publication of the rest of this repertoire, both from North and Central Germany, remains very patchy. Use The New Grove 2 for further details, including those of published Passion settings. The organ music is much more readily available from the main publishers Bärenreiter and Breitkopf, and scarcely a note of the surviving repertoire is unpublished.

Essay questions related to study area 4:

B5.4.1 Explain what is meant by the terms 'orthodoxy' and 'mysticism' in this context, illustrating your answer with evidence from the texts set by the main composers of the period.
B5.4.2 Through what channels did Italian church music find its way to Lutheran Germany, and what evidence is there that this repertoire was performed in Lutheran services?
B5.4.3 Describe the conditions in which church music flourished in the main town churches and court chapels in Lutheran Germany by contrasting any two major centres, such as the city of Hamburg and the court of Dresden.
B5.4.4 Buxtehude's church music has often been described as a repertoire of cantatas. Make your own assessment of the nature of this repertoire, considering how Buxtehude himself would have described his works, and providing an overview of the varied nature of this repertoire.
B5.4.5 Describe the continued use of the stile antico in the period, contrasting it with the most vivid examples of the flamboyant concerto style.
B5.4.6 Outline the development of settings of the Passion story in Lutheran Germany from the sixteenth century to the works of Reinhard Keiser, and compare the settings from around 1700 with the Passions of J. S. Bach.
B5.4.7 Give an account of the duties of an Organist in Lutheran Germany at this time, comparing them to the responsibilities of the Kantor or Kapellmeister, and explaining how the surviving organ repertoire fits our understanding of these duties.

5 J. S. Bach

5.1 Bach’s career as a church musician
5.2 The early cantatas
5.3 The organ music
5.4 Director Musices at Leipzig
5.5 The Leipzig church music
5.6 Bach and the stile antico
5.7 Vocal and instrumental forces at Leipzig

Suggested reading for study area 5:

The bibliography for Bach is vast, and Bach scholarship is as popular and controversial as ever. Much of the standard literature on Bach's church music from the late nineteenth and early twentieth century is coming under increasing criticism, but whereas some would see this as a Romantic over-playing of Bach’s own religious convictions, others are proposing yet more sophisticated levels of understanding of Bach's faith through his compositions. Another major area of controversy in this field concerns the number of singers that Bach used to perform his church music. To get an overview and some helpful pointers, try Daniel R. Melamed & Michael Marissen, An Introduction to Bach Studies (1998). The New Bach Reader is an essential tool, and there is an excellent web-site devoted to Bach bibliography maintained at the Queen’s University, Belfast: http://www.music.qub.ac.uk/tomita/bachbib/

Friedrich Blume, Protestant Church Music: A History, 278-315

Malcolm Boyd, The Master Musicians: Bach, chapters 1-4, 7-10

Malcolm Boyd (ed.), Oxford Composer Companions: J. S. Bach

John Butt (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to J. S. Bach, chapters 6 & 7

John Butt, Mass in B minor

Eric Chafe, Analyzing Bach Cantatas

Eric Chafe, Tonal Allegory in the Vocal Music of J. S. Bach

Hans T. David, & Arthur Mendel, rev. and enl. C. Wolff, The New Bach Reader

Alfred Dürr, transl. A. Clayton, Johann Sebastian Bach’s St John Passion: Genesis, Transmission and Meaning

Don O. Franklin, Bach Studies, Part I ‘Magnificat, Cantata and Passion’

Ulrich Leisinger, ‘Forms and functions of the choral movements in J. S. Bach’s St. Matthew Passion’, in Bach Studies 2, ed. D. Melamed, 70-84

Andrew Parrott, The Essential Bach Choir

Daniel R. Melamed, J. S. Bach and the German motet

George Stauffer & Ernest May (eds.), J. S. Bach as Organist, especially ‘Bach’s Organ Music

Gillies Whittaker, The Cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach: Sacred and Secular, 2 vols

Peter Williams, The Organ Music of J. S. Bach, 3 vols

Christoph Wolff, Bach: Essays on His Life and Music, especially chapters 1-8, 10-12, 24 & 26

Christoph Wolff, Bach the Learned Musician, especially chapter 8

David Yearsley, ‘The Organ Music of J. S. Bach’, in The Cambridge Companion to the Organ, 236-49

Editions

The old Bach-Gesellschaft edition J. S. Bach: Werke (1851-99) has been superseded by the on-going new edition, J. S. Bach: Neue Ausgabe sämtlicher Werke (from 1954), known as the Neue Bach-Ausgabe.

Essay questions related to study area 5:

B5.5.1 Examine Bach’s church music in relation to his changing employment.
B5.5.2 Describe the origins and content of the Mass in B Minor, and consider what may have led Bach to compose this work.
B5.5.3 How do Bach’s Leipzig cantatas differ from his earlier works in this genre?
B5.5.4 Give an account of the variety of instrumental and vocal scorings found in the Leipzig cantatas.
B5.5.5 Explain how Bach’s Passions mingle the dramatic narration of past events with the need to make clear the significance of these events for a contemporary Lutheran audience.
B5.5.6 To what extent did Bach use pre-existent material for his major compositions for the church? Did he re-use music originally composed for a secular composition in a sacred context?
B5.5.7 Outline the varied nature of Bach’s organ music, relating the music of different periods to Bach’s known circumstances and preoccupations.


Assessment and satisfactory completion

At the end of the module you must submit two essays, each of 3,750-4,000 words, for assessment. The subjects of the essays must be selected from the topics set above. Each essay must relate to a different study area. A bibliography of materials consulted should be appended to the essay.

The assessment of the module will be based on the two essays. You should complete a module log listing materials used for the study, time spent in study, and noting any special factors or difficulties encountered. You may also be required to provide additional evidence of study undertaken in the two areas not covered by the two assessed essays. In each case this may consist either of notes made during study or an essay on a topic related to the area. The examiners will request these materials if they require them.

Two copies of all materials for assessment and establishment of satisfactory completion should be forwarded to the Course Secretary and postmarked not later than 31 January or 30 June in the appropriate study period.


Bibliography: Module B5

Willi Apel, The History of Keyboard Music to 1700, transl. and rev. Hans Tischler (Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1972)

A. Arnold, Organ Literature: A Comprehensive Survey, i (Metuchen & London, Scarecrow Press, 1984)

Bianconi (transl. David Bryant), Music in the Seventeenth Century (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1987)

Friedrich Blume, Protestant Church Music: A History (New York, Norton, 1974)

Ann Bond, ‘Plainchant in the Lutheran Church’, The Musical Times cxiv (1973), 582-7

Malcolm Boyd, The Master Musicians: Bach (Oxford & New York, Oxford University Press, 1995)

Malcolm Boyd (ed.), Oxford Composer Companions: J. S. Bach (New York, Oxford University Press, 1999)

Manfred Bukofzer, Music in the Baroque Era (London, Dent, 1948)

Walter E. Buszin, ‘Luther on Music’, Musical Quarterly xxxii (1946), 80-97

John Butt (ed.), The Cambridge Companion to Bach (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1997)

John Butt, Mass in B minor (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1991)

Eric Chafe, Tonal Allegory in the Vocal Music of J. S. Bach (Berkeley, University of California Press, 1991)

Eric Chafe, Analyzing Bach Cantatas (New York, Oxford University Press, 2000)

Hans T. David, & Arthur Mendel, rev. and enl. C. Wolff, The New Bach Reader (New York, Norton, 1998)

Alfred Dürr, transl. A. Clayton, Johann Sebastian Bach’s St John Passion: Genesis, Transmission and Meaning (New York, Oxford University Press, 2000)

Don O. Franklin, Bach Studies (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1989)

Charles Garside, ‘Calvin’s Preface to the Psalter’, Musical Quarterly xxxvii (1951), 566-77

Théodore Gérold, ‘Protestant Music on the Continent’, in The New Oxford History of Music iv, ed. G. Abraham (London, Oxford University Press, 1968)

Robin A. Leaver, ‘The Lutheran Reformation’, in The Renaissance: from the 1470s to the End of the 16th Century, ed. I. Fenlon (Basingstoke, MacMillan, 1989)

Robin A. Leaver, ‘Goostly psalmes and spirituall songes’: English and Dutch Metrica Psalms from Coverdale to Utenhove 1535-1566 (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1991)

Martin Luther, Foreword to the Wittemberg Gesangbuch of 1524, transl. in Source Readings in Music History, ed. O. Strunk, rev. Leo Treitler (New York, Norton, 1998), 361-2

Daniel R. Melamed (ed.), Bach Studies 2 (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1995)

Daniel R. Melamed, J. S. Bach and the German motet (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1995)

Daniel R. Melamed & Michael Marissen, An Introduction to Bach Studies (New York, Oxford University Press, 1998).

Hans Joachim Moser, transl. Carl F. Pfatteicher, Heinrich Schütz: his Life and Work (St Louis, Concordia, 1959)

Frits Noske, Sweelinck (Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1988)

H. L. Parker, John Calvin: a Biography (London, Dent, 1975)

Andrew Parrott, The Essential Bach Choir (Woodbridge, The Boydell Press, 2000)

The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, second edition, ed. Stanley Sadie & John Tyrrell (London, Macmillan, 2001), also available on-line on at www.grovemusic.com

Gustave Reese, Music in the Renaissance (London, Dent, 1954)

Basil Smallman, The Background of Passion Music (New York, Dover, 1970)

Basil Smallman, Schütz (New York, Oxford University Press, 2000)

Kerala J. Snyder, Dieterich Buxtehude: Organist in Lübeck (New York, Schirmer Books, 1987)

George Stauffer & Ernest May (eds.), J. S. Bach as Organist (London, B. T. Batsford, 1986)

Paul Steinitz, ‘German Church Music’, in The New Oxford History of Music v, ed. A. Lewis and N. Fortune (London, Oxford University Press, 1975)

Geoffrey Webber, ‘The north German organ school’ in The Cambridge Companion to the Organ, ed. N. Thistlethwaite and G. Webber (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1998)

Geoffrey Webber, North German Church Music in the Age of Buxtehude (Oxford, The Clarendon Press, 1996)

Gillies Whittaker, The Cantatas of Johann Sebastian Bach: Sacred and Secular, 2 vols. (London, Oxford University Press, 1959)

Peter Williams, The Organ Music of J. S. Bach, 3 volumes (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1980-4)

Christoph Wolff, Bach: Essays on His Life and Music (Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 1991)

Christoph Wolff, Johann Sebastian Bach: The Learned Musician (New York, Oxford University Press, 2000)

David Yearsley, ‘The Organ Music of J. S. Bach’, in The Cambridge Companion to the Organ, 236-49