History of Classical Music


(Renaissance 3)
When the Lutheran church split from the Catholic church in the 1500's, more than religion changed. Martin Luther wanted all of his congregation to take part in the music of his services. The new Protestant churches that formed had songs written for singing by the whole congregation, not just the choir. This new chorale style was the basis for many hymns that are still sung today. The chorale was composed for voices, but two hundred years later, Bach would use the form for his organ pieces.

Just as most Catholic church music in the sixteenth century was an outgrowth of plainsong, much of the Lutheran church music of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries was an outgrowth of the chorale.

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