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Martin Luther

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Martin Luther


Martin Luther (10 November 1483, Eisleben, Saxony – 18 February 1546, Eisleben, Saxony) was a German professor of theology, composer, priest, monk and a seminal figure in the Protestant Reformation.

Luther was a prolific hymnodist, authoring hymns such as Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott ("A Mighty Fortress Is Our God"), based on Psalm 46, and Vom Himmel hoch, da komm ich her ("From Heaven Above to Earth I Come"), based on Luke 2:11–12. Luther connected high art and folk music, also all classes, clergy and laity, men, women and children. His tool of choice for this connection was the singing of German hymns in connection with worship, school, home, and the public arena. He often accompanied the sung hymns with a lute, later recreated as the waldzither that became a national instrument of Germany in the 20th century.

Luther's hymns were included in early Lutheran hymnals and spread the ideas of the Reformation. Gis hymns also inspired composers to write music. Johann Sebastian Bach included several verses as chorales in his cantatas and based chorale cantatas entirely on them.

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