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Front page of the Achtliederbuch (1524), known as the first Lutheran hymnal

Martin Luther was a great enthusiast for music, and this is why it forms a large part of Lutheran services; in particular, Luther admired the composers Josquin des Prez and Ludwig Senfl and wanted singing in the church to move away from the ars perfecta (Catholic Sacred Music of the late Renaissance) and towards singing as a Gemeinschaft (community).[1] Lutheran hymns are sometimes known as chorales. Lutheran hymnody is well known for its doctrinal, didactic, and musical richness. Most Lutheran churches are active musically with choirs, handbell choirs, children's choirs, and occasionally change ringing groups that ring bells in a bell tower. Johann Sebastian Bach, a devout Lutheran, composed music for the Lutheran church: more than half of his over 1000 compositions are or contain Lutheran hymns.


See also: Lutheranism § Liturgy, Martin Luther § Hymnodist, List of hymns by Martin Luther, and Hymnody of continental Europe § Reformation

Lutheran hymnals include:


See also: Metre (hymn), Hymn tune, Psalms § Protestant usage, and Metrical psalter

When Johannes Zahn catalogued the tunes of over 8800 Evangelical hymns in the late 19th century, he used the verse characteristics of the lyrics as basis of his classification system.[2]


See also: Lutheran chorale § Composers

Lutheran hymnodists or hymn-writers:


Hymnologists who published on Lutheran hymns:



  1. ^ Taruskin, Richard (2010). The Oxford History of Western Music. Volume I: Music in the Earliest Notations to the Sixteenth Century. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 753–758.
  2. ^ Zahn 1889, p. 4.
  3. ^ "Nancy M Raabe, Pastor, Musician". Retrieved 2022-10-11.
  4. ^ "Nancy M Raabe, Books, Articles, Presentations". Retrieved 2022-10-12.