Music, Piety, and Propaganda: The Soundscapes of Counter-Reformation Bavaria (New Cultural History of Music)
Alexander J. Fisher
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Music, Piety, and Propaganda: The Soundscapes of Counter-Reformation Bavaria explores the nature of sound as a powerful yet ambivalent force in the religious struggles that permeated Germany during the Counter-Reformation. Author Alexander J. Fisher goes beyond a musicological treatment of composers, styles, and genres to examine how music, and more broadly sound itself, shaped the aural landscape of Bavaria as the duchy emerged as a militant Catholic bulwark. Fisher focuses particularly on the ways in which sound--including bell-ringing, gunfire, and popular song, as well as cultivated polyphony--not only was deployed by Catholic secular and clerical elites to shape the religious identities of Bavarian subjects, but also carried the potential to challenge and undermine confessional boundaries.
Surviving literature, archival documents, and music illustrate the ways in which Bavarian authorities and their allies in the Catholic clergy and orders deployed sound to underline crucial theological differences with their Protestant antagonists, notably the cults of the Virgin Mary, the Eucharist, and the saints. Official and popular rituals like divine worship, processions, and pilgrimages all featured distinctive sounds and music that shaped and reflected an emerging Catholic identity. Although officials imposed a severe regime of religious surveillance, the Catholic state's dominance of the soundscape was hardly assured. Fisher traces archival sources that show the resilience of Protestant vernacular song in Bavaria, the dissemination and performance of forbidden, anti-Catholic songs, the presence of Lutheran chorales in nominally Catholic church services into the late 16th century, and the persistence of popular "noise" more generally. Music, Piety, and Propaganda thus reveals historical, theological, and cultural issues of the period through the piercing dimension of its sounds, bringing into focus the import of sound as a strategic cultural tool with significant impact on the flow of history.
Reference 2.30. The duties for the organist are specified in a 1606 supplication from the organist Abraham Wisreutter to the chapter, cited by Söhner in Die Musik im Münchner Dom unserer lieben Frau, 43. See Extended Reference 2.31 for details. The chapter had hoped to install a new, larger organ as early as 1610, but these plans failed due to a lack of support from the city authorities. Maximilian I donated a positive organ to Unsere Liebe Frau in 1611, but a new fixed instrument had to wait
gebet, vnd Gott ahn gerueffen wegen diser gefäh[r]ligen Zeith.” Diary entries of Johannes Hellgemayr, 1620, qtd. in Leuchtmann, “Zeitgeschichtliche Aufzeichnungen des Bayerischen Kapellaltisten Johannes Hellgemayr,” 174. 190 BSB, Mus. ms. 262. The composer of this rudimentary litany so far remains unidentified; it is not concordant with any of Lasso’s litanies, nor with the four-voice litanies of the Thesaurus litaniarum. The score-book is otherwise a curious miscellany of sacred and secualr
maintained, an instrument that could easily have been put to use, together with a very small number of singers, to perform sacred concertos of the kind cultivated by Maximilian’s court composers.19 Indeed, this very intimate space, at most ten meters square, could hardly have accommodated larger ensembles. 18 19 For further discussion of this Prunkorgel, see Extended Reference 3.6. See Bettina Wackernagel, Musikinstrumentenverzeichnis der Bayerischen Hofkapelle von 1655. Faksimile,
payments for musicians only begin to be recorded from 1652, the year that “die Mußicanten” were paid for quarterly services (2 Gulden for each service). See BZaR, BDK 48–543. 150 | oxfordhb-9780199764648.indd 150 m u s i c , p i e t y , a n d p r o p a g a n d a 10/28/2013 10:36:16 PM Congregation of Mary Victorious—may have been more typical of confraternal devotional life.83 In 1579, Duke Wilhelm V founded the Marian confraternity of Altötting, referring to the favored Wittelsbach
official culture. A number of factors complicate any simple notions of devotional space as created by song. However much Counter-Reformation elites constructed religious space as distinct from secular space, the two spheres frequently overlapped in practice, especially in the aural dimension. Moreover, sacred songs commonly drew on secular imagery, and vice-versa, and so songs of a moralistic 144 Helmuth Stahleder, Belastungen und Bedrückungen, Die Jahre 1506–1705, Chronik der Stadt München 2