Music as Propaganda in the German Reformation

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Music as Propaganda in the German Reformation The reformation was a religious and political movement that took place in the year 1517. This movement was spread by the Cristian humanist Martin Luther, when he posted his “Ninety Five Theses”. The reformation itself is one of those things everybody has heard about but no one quite understands, even nowadays, 500 years after this movement occurred. The main reason for this movement is unknown, however, some causes are being slowly known. First of all, as this movement occurred in the renaissance, humanism was on the air and all the humanist ideas were being spread, so people were thinking more rationally, thus questioning the church and its ways of working. Also, the printing press as recently invented, and it helped dispersing the protestant ideas worldwide. Also, the monarchs or Europe challenged the church and the pope’s power, since church was even more powerful than some of the European kingdoms and monarchies. European monarchies did not like that the church was wealthy and had influence upon people, so they got against the church and its pope. Furthermore, church wealth and power tended to be abused by some of the members of the clergy. Church used to sell some of its offices, charging people to help them position in places of power. But the main issue that made the reformation happen was the sale of indulgences, so church made people believe that they could buy their way into heaven without making good deeds. Because of all of these issues, the German monk Martin Luther criticized the church and its nepotism and corruption. His first objection was to Johann Tetzel von Wittenberg, who was offering the sale of indulgences to help rebuild St. Peter Cathedral in Rome, so he pos... ... middle of paper ... ...November 15, 2013 at • Oettinger, R.W. (2001). Music as Propaganda in the German Reformation. Burlington, VT: Ashgate. • Scribner, R.W. (1981). For The Sake Of Simple Folk: Popular Propaganda for the German Reformation. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. • Soergel, P.M. (1993) Wondrous in His Saints: Counter-Reformation Propaganda In Bavaria. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. • Wright, A.D. (2005). The Counter-Reformation: Catholic Europe and the Non-Christian World. Burlington, VT: Ashgate. • Watt, T. (1991). Cheap Print and Popular Piety 1550-1640. New York, NY: Cambridge University Press. • Hartmann, John: The Use of Propaganda in the Reformation & Counter – Reformation. Yale Divinity School. Available:

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