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'Musica est optimum': Martin Luther’s Theory of Music

Loewe, Andreas (2013) 'Musica est optimum': Martin Luther’s Theory of Music. Music and Letters, 94 (4). pp. 573-605. ISSN 0027-4224

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Abstract

Martin Luther’s appreciation for music as a practical instrument to promote the message of the Reformation by the creation of vernacular hymnody and specifically Lutheran liturgical music has dominated studies of Luther and his music. His systematic understanding of music, on the other hand, has been consistently neglected. This article argues that more than twenty years into his Reformation the philosophical basis of his music theory remained very much indebted to Johannes de Muris’s influential Musica speculativa and later humanist interpretations. Consideration of this relation sheds light on Luther’s understanding of music as a quadrivial art form and the queen of philosophical learning.

Item Type: Published Articles
Repository Version: Published Version
Keywords: Martin Luther, Music
Fields of Research: 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2204 Religion and Religious Studies > 220499 Religion and Religious Studies not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies
Type of Activity: Strategic Basic Research
Subjects: A - Philosophy
College/Association with University of Divinity: Trinity College Theological School
Depositing User: Dr Suman Kashyap
Date Deposited: 19 Feb 2014 01:53
Last Modified: 18 May 2018 00:05
URI: http://repository.divinity.edu.au/id/eprint/1323

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