– Martin Luther, Preface to Georg Rhau’s Symphoniae Iucundae, in Luther’s Works, vol. 53, 323:

For whether you wish to comfort the sad, to terrify the happy, to encourage the despairing, to humble the proud, to calm the passionate, or to appease those full of hate . . . what more effective means than music could you find?

[music is]…a mistress and governess of those human emotions.

– Robert Harrell, Martin Luther: His Music, His Message, 1980:

By avoiding dance tunes and “de-rhythming” other songs, Luther achieved a chorale with a marked rhythm, but without the devices that would remind the people of the secular world. Luther chose only those tunes which would best lend themselves to sacred themes and avoided the vulgar, “rollicking drinking songs” and dance tunes. He carefully tested the melodies he considered, and when necessary molded them into suitability.

– Millar Patrick, The Story of the Church’s Song, p. 74:

He was not content to accept anything uncritically: he was jealous of congruity between the theme of the verse and the spirit of the music. He carefully tested the propriety for their purpose of the melodies he considered, and where necessary molded them into suitability.

– Ulrich Leupold, an authority on Luther, Learning from Luther?, Journal of Church Music, July-August 1996, p. 5:

Rollicking drinking songs were available in the 16th century too. Luther steered clear of them. He never considered music a mere tool that could be employed regardless of its original association but was careful to match text and tune, so that each text would have its own proper tune and so that both would complement each other.

– Makujina, Measuring the Music, p. 192:

It is perhaps in his selectivity of rhythm that we notice the seldom-acknowledged conservatism of Luther. In order for the congregation to sing in unison, a song had to contain some form of rhythm. The plainsong (Gregorian chant), however, lacked the necessary rhythm. On the other hand, dance songs and drinking songs produced a rhythm far too intense and definite for Luther’s purposes. Therefore, it is believed that in developing his chorales, Luther managed to discard dance songs altogether and limit the rhythm in other songs.

– Martin Luther, Preface to the Wittenberg Hymnal, in Luther’s Works, vol. 53, p. 316:

And these songs were arranged in four parts to give the young–who should at any rate be trained in music and other fine arts–something to wean them away from love ballads and carnal songs and to teach them something of value in their place, thus combining the good with the pleasing, as is proper for youth.

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