Archive for the ‘music’ Category

Music – Luther

October 22, 2008

Music is a fair and lovely gift of God which has often wakened and moved me to the joy of preaching . . St. Augustine was troubled in conscience whenever he caught himself delighting in music, which he took to be sinful. He was a choice spirit and were he living today would agree with us. I have no use for cranks who despise music, because it is a gift of God. Music drives away the Devil and makes people joyous they forget thereby all wrath, unchastity, arrogance, and the like.

Next after theology I give to music the highest place and the greatest honour. I would not change what little I know of music for something great. Experience proves that next to the Word of God only music deserves to be extolled as the mistress and governess of the feelings of the human heart. We know that to the devils music is distasteful and insufferable. My heart bubbles up and overflows in response to music, which has so often refreshed me and delivered me from dire plagues. (Here I Stand, p. 341)

With all my heart I would extol the precious gift of God in the noble art of music, but I scarcely know where to begin or end. There is nothing on earth which has not its tone. Even the air invisible sings when smitten with a staff. Among the beasts and the birds song is still more more marvelous. David, himself a musician, testified with amazement and joy to the song of the birds. What then shall I say of the voice of man, to which naught else may be compared? The heathen philosophers have striven in vain to explain how the tongue of man can express the thoughts of the heart in speech and song, through laughter and lamentation. Music is to be praised as second only to the Word of God because by her are all the emotions swayed. Nothing on earth is more mighty to make the sad happy and the happy sad, to hearten the downcast, mellow the overweening, temper the exuberant, or mollify the vengeful.

(Here I Stand, p. 343)