The Music of the Moravian Church in America

January 2008
14 black and white, 52 line illustrations
372 pages
9x6 in
Eastman Studies in Music
Library eBook
University of Rochester Press
BISAC MUS020000, MUS017000, MUS048010

The Music of the Moravian Church in America

Edited by Nola Reed Knouse

The first comprehensive study, by a team of leading scholars, of one of the United States's most distinctive musical traditions.
The Moravians, or Bohemian Brethren, early Protestants who settled in Pennsylvania and North Carolina in the eighteenth century, brought a musical repertoire that included hymns, sacred vocal works accompanied by chamber orchestra, and instrumental music by the best-known European composers of the day. Moravian composers -- mostly pastors and teachers trained in the styles and genres of the Haydn-Mozart era -- crafted thousands of compositions for worship, and copied and collected thousands of instrumental works for recreation and instruction.
The book's chapters examine sacred and secular works, both for instruments -- including piano solo -- and for voices. The Music of the Moravian Church demonstrates the varied roles that music played in one of America's most distinctive ethno-cultural populations, and presents many distinctive pieces that performers and audiences continue to find rewarding.
Contributors: Alice M. Caldwell, C. Daniel Crews, Lou Carol Fix, Pauline M. Fox, Albert H. Frank, Nola Reed Knouse, Laurence Libin, Paul M. Peucker, and Jewel A. Smith.

Nola Reed Knouse, director of the Moravian Music Foundation since 1994, is active as a flautist, composer, and arranger. She is the editor of The Collected Wind Music of David Moritz Michael.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781580467469), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.

Table of Contents

The Moravians and Their Music - Nola Reed Knouse
Moravian Worship: The Why of Moravian Music - C Daniel Crews
Hymnody of the Moravian Church - Albert H Frank and Nola Reed Knouse
Moravian Sacred Vocal Music - Alice M. Caldwell
The Organ in Moravian Church Music - Lou Carol Fix
The Role and Development of Brass Music in the Moravian Church - Paul M Peucker
The Collegia Musica: Music of the Community - Nola Reed Knouse
Music in Moravian Boarding Schools through the Early Nineteenth Century - Pauline M Fox
The Piano among the Moravians in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries: Music, Instruction, and Construction - Jewel Smith
Moravian Music: Questions of Identity and Purpose - Nola Reed Knouse


The Moravians . . . are possessors and guardians of one of the richest repositories of sophisticated religious and secular music in the United States emanating from early Colonial times. Every church musicians today needs to know this important tradition. And this excellent book is, and will remain, the definitive resource. . . . An unusually exhaustive and thorough bibliography brings this remarkable book to a close. DIAPASON [John M. Bullard]

Valuable to anyone pursuing a deeper acquaintance with this unique -- and uniquely American -- tradition. A thorough introduction to the various aspects of the topic. JOURNAL OF THE ASSOCIATION OF ANGLICAN MUSICIANS

Provides the most up-to-date and comprehensive treatment of music in the Moravian Church. Well documented with chapter endnotes and amply illustrated with music examples, facsimiles from early sources, and photographs. There is a genuine need for this book. MUSIC LIBRARY ASSOCIATION NOTES

Music plays a huge role in Moravian culture. Those wishing to build an understanding of this music and musical culture will appreciate the first several essays [by Knouse, C. Daniel Crews, Albert Frank, and Alice Caldwell]. Summing Up: Recommended. All audiences, but particularly undergraduates and general readers. CHOICE

This marvelous collection of essays presents a rich, provocative account of an underappreciated musical heritage. Its penetrating insights go well beyond Moravian culture. Indeed, this book should be required reading for any person, of any denomination, interested in the complex issue of music in liturgy. --Lorenzo Candelaria, University of Texas at Austin (Musicology) and co-author of American Music: A Panorama

A giant step in the ongoing task of disseminating information about the origins of Moravian music and its importance on the American musical scene. The assembly of works by significant scholars is well illustrated by examples of printed music, hymns, and both original and translated texts. --J. Edwin Hendricks, Wake Forest University [History] and longtime President of Historic Winston

Insightful quotations from eighteenth- and nineteenth-century sources. Readers . . . may find themselves, as Goethe, Herder, Washington, and Franklin were, moved by the emotionally charged religious sentiment of Moravian music. JOURNAL OF THE SOCIETY FOR AMERICAN MUSIC

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