The Reformation and its influence on Music
Martin Luther was himself a musician, who sang (in a tenor voice), played the lute, and composed tunes. This combined with his love for the traditional practice of the Church to influence the reforming movement that bears his name. For Luther, music was next in importance to theology, a living voice of the Gospel, a gift from God to be used in all its fullness in Christian praise and prayer. From Luther’s Latin Mass and his German Mass to the present, except for a time in certain places that suffered from the ravages of rationalism, music has been an integral part of Protestant worship. Not only are hymns expected in the worship service, but the service itself is expected to be chanted, at least by the congregation and usually by the minister as well. Luther's fellow Reformer Huldrych Zwingli was an accomplished musician as well. A remarkable singer, he could also play seven instruments, and is known as the composer of several Reformation hymns. Many years later, the Reformation had a pronounced effect on some of the world's leading composers such as Johann Sebastian Bach, Georg Friedrich Händel and Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy.