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Christian & Luther Music





The topics listed below outline the chronological order of the events that took place, from the beginning of the paradigm shift (norm to be followed) entitled "Protestant" .


I - Ninety-five Theses on the Power and Efficacy of Indulgences (October 31, 1517)

I (A) -Press (1440); Johannes Gutenberg

II - Diet of Worms (1521)

III - The Radical Reformation (16th century)

IV - Speyer's Diet (1526, 1529)

V - 'EIN FEST BURG IST UNSER GOTT' (1527/1529, M.Luther)

VI  - evangelical freedom (1525)

VI (A) -Alguns Estados/Países EVANGÉLICOS:  Ducado da Prússia (1525), Landgraviate de Hesse (1526), ​​Saxonian Electoral (1527; Luther's homeland), Electoral Palatinate (1530), Duchy of Württemberg (1534).


With the advent of Johannes Gutenberg's movable type (in the mid-15th century), Luther envisioned the possibility of publishing literary content on a large scale.

Thus, he was able to publish his 95 Theses throughout Germany, which would later become known throughout the world.

One of his main theses, as we well know, was that the Bible should be translated into the Vernacular, that is, into the native language of each people/nation, allowing full access to the Word of God.

This whole process was inspired and directed by God and the Holy Spirit who led Luther in this "reform" that transformed the World, through the Sovereign and perfect will of our Father (after centuries of obscurantism throughout the Middle Ages. In fact, this occurs exactly in what, historically, is called/conceptualized as Renaissance).

The term "Protestant reform" (1), for theological/interpretative reasons - in the Light of the Word of God - we can better understand as the change of the World through the action of God.

The Bible is absolute and eternal. Therefore, the reform is about changing the panorama in the face of the current situation in which the World and the Church were situated, under the aegis of the impositional system of thought and access to the Bible and Life as a Christian and Human Being. Finally, Protestant; also always considered a pejorative title because we do not protest against anything or anyone - in the light of the teaching of our Jesus, but rather we convey the Word of Salvation, of Love and of the brotherhood that prevails among all of us.

Another very fundamental change, very relevant to us Musicians, is also included in these Theses.

The music Ein Feste Burg Ist Unser Gott (In German) which translated into Portuguese is Castelo Forte (Hymn number 323 of the Christian Humn Book, sung in all Evangelical Churches around the world), was composed around the year 1527; is one of the most famous hymns of the Gospel music. (Protestant (1)). It is considered the Battle Hymn of the Reform, due to the effect it had in supporting the cause of the Reformists. 

Four theories are mentioned about the origin of the Reformation:

1-) Heinrich Heine: was sung by Martin Luther and his companions, when they entered Worms on April 16, 1521, for interrogation (Council = diet = edict);

2-) KFT Schneider: was a tribute to Luther's friend Leonhard Kaiser, who was executed as a Protestant martyr, August 16, 1527;

3-) Jean-Henri Merle Aubigné: it was sung by the German Lutheran princes, when they entered Augsburg for the Diet in 1530, in which the Augsburg Confession was presented; 

4-) The opinion that it was composed in connection with the Diet of Speyer (1529), in which the German Lutheran princes presented their protest; to Emperor Charles V, who wanted to reinforce his Edict of Worms (1521).

The oldest extant hymnal in which this hymn appears is that of Andrew Rauscher (1531), but it is likely that it appeared in the hymnal of Wittenberg (town where Luther lived; in the town's castle church he posted his texts/Theses), by Joseph Klug, 1529, of which no copy exists. Your title wasGive xxxxvi. Psalm. Deus noster refuge et virtus (2). Before that it is likely to have appeared in Hans Weiss' Wittenberg Hymnal of 1528, also lost. This evidence supports the idea that it was written between 1527 and 1529, as Luther's hymns were printed immediately after they were written.

The music after this moment was extremely polyphonic. This fact, since not all people had or have previous training and musical knowledge, would make it difficult to perform, singing in congregational worship, according to Luther's technical-aesthetic vision. In this way, he thought and proposed that music be simplified; in its structure (musical parameters such as rhythm, melody and lyrics) so that it could be easily learned and also sung by the congregation, by the church.

At the moment that Luther points out, in his Theses number 53, 54 and, especially, 62, it presupposes the full liberation of Christian thought and Faith, through healthy interpretation and also access to the sacred scriptures, namely: The Bible.

At the final session of the Diet = Edict = Council in 1529, the decision of the Council was once more read, but not a word was said of the protest of the evangelical princes. In response, the counselors of the evangelical princes and the agents of the Free Cities met on April 25 and drafted aInstrumentum Appellationis, in which the complaints against the Council's decision were once again analyzed/disputed. This text was brought to the Holy Roman Emperor by an ambassador.
Since the Council (Diet or Edict, are terms also used) in Speyer (is a city in Rhineland-Palatinate in Germany) Evangelicals in Germany, who worked together with other Evangelicals around the world, on the so-called reform movement, became known as Protestants (pejorative terminology which was written/titled in history by the Holy Roman Empire).
Six evangelical princes, namely: John the Steadfast of Wettin, Elector of Saxony, George the Pious of Hohenzollern, Margrave of Brandenburg-Ansbach, Ernest I the Confessor of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Duke of Lüneburg-Celle and his brother Francis, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, Duke of Gifhorn, Philip I the Magnanimous, Landgrave of Hesse, Wolfgang of Ascania, Prince of Anhalt-Köthen.

From this date, from this moment, in April 1529, the protest; (Protestati; CONTESTATION), the petition of the Princes and the Free Cities, and above all, the Lutherans, was called the birth of Protestantism; by the Holy Roman Empire.

The supremacy of the Word of God and His Sovereignty of God are absolute. However, it was in 1522, after this profound change in God's action, that Luther converged, through what he postulated in Theses 92 to 95, that proposed the changes liturgical which would be pillars to the Church from the beginning of the 16th century. The “ecclesiastical” homophony, by concept, implies a verticalization of the melodic lines linked to the rhythm. That is, the hymns composed since then (which have been used for about 500 years in Evangelical Churches), contain a structure where harmony and rhythm walk in simultaneity and, therefore, the lyrics.
As I mentioned above, the Hymn “Castelo Forte” is the best known musical example of thisnew liturgical musical aestheticproposed and established by Luther. 

(1) The term “protestant” comes from the formal protest document – Protestatio – that the Lutherans presented in an assembly in 1529, expressing its opposition to religious policy adopted by the Church.

: music; music history; musical aesthetics; Christian music; Holy music; musical paradigms; musical psycho-cognition; Bible; music in the Bible.

Grace and peace from our Lord God and Eternal Father.



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