The Musical Afterlife of the Protestant Reformation
Martin Luther’s love of music is a testament to the central role music played in the Protestant Reformation. But the music of the Reformation has continued to resound well beyond the 16th century. In the 500 years since the 95 theses, composers have made frequent reference to two of the most notable and enduring tunes from that period in history: “Ein Feste Burg,” or “A Mighty Fortress” from the Lutheran tradition, and “Old Hundredth,” initially associated with Calvinism. This talk explores the Reformation’s musical legacy, with a particular focus on appearances of these two melodies in musical compositions by figures such as J.S. Bach, Felix Mendelssohn, Claude Debussy, and Ralph Vaughan Williams.
This presentation will be given by Matthew Mugmon, Assistant Professor of Musicology and the Daveen Fox Chair of Music Studies in the University of Arizona’s Fred Fox School of Music. He has also served as Leonard Bernstein Scholar-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. His research centers on American musical modernism, and his research appears in Music & Letters and the Journal of Musicological Research. A current book project explores Aaron Copland’s relationship with the music of Gustav Mahler.