Motivated by the recent documentary on Martin Luther which we recommended, today I want to touch on another aspect of Luther’s influence on Christianity – the way we “protestants” view music! “Next to the Word of God, music deserves the highest praise,” said Luther. He also wrote, “Music is next to theology!” And, “It (sacred music) drives away the devil!”
This article is not going to be long. Instead it will link to other resources freely available on the internet to let readers learn as much as they will of the work and influence of Luther in the realm of sacred music.
But briefly I would repeat what I tell my students in our History of Christianity course. Luther wrote hymns in the language and style of the people of his day. He even published a hymnbook of his and others hymns to be used in the “protesting” churches. He strongly believed in and practiced congregational a cappella singing.