University of Notre Dame

Music & the Reformation

Course Number: MUS 13182-1
Instructor: Mary E. Frandsen

The Protestant Reformation had a transformative effect on the nature and use of music during worship services. In this course, we will examine this music, and the theologians and composers who contributed to this transformation. We will begin in the years just prior to the Reformation, and look at issues related to music and worship from that period until the late eighteenth century. Along the way, we will address such questions as: How did the philosophies of worship of Luther and Calvin shape the distinct musical traditions that developed in the new churches? How did the incorporation of congregational singing affect the nature of worship in Protestantism? How did the Catholic church respond musically to these challenges? In the search for answers to these and other questions, we will study sacred music for choir and organ from the Catholic, Lutheran, and Anglican traditions, and congregational hymns and psalms of the Lutheran, Reformed (Calvinist), and Anabaptist traditions. We will also look at the liturgical traditions of each church, particularly as they related to music.

We will also cover such topics as music and the Counter- (or Catholic) Reformation, music and devotional movements, the music of Italian nuns, music in German Catholic and Protestant schools, the continued use of Catholic music by Lutherans, Italian musical influence on German Catholics and Lutherans, Catholic music in New Spain (colonial Mexico), Protestant psalmody in colonial America, and others. The musical genres we will cover include liturgical music of Catholics and Lutherans, Anglican anthems, Bach cantatas and passions, the Handelian oratorio, Lutheran organ music, and other types of pieces. Study of the music will be based on listening; no musical background or music-reading ability is required.

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