Music History II Term Paper – Mozart’s Requiem

An unfinished masterpiece


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria in 1756. His musical talent was noticed very early. His father, Leopold Mozart, taught him music theory, keyboard technique, and the violin. (Cormican 5) He toured Europe with his father, playing for many royal families. (Cormican 8) On this tour, he absorbed the national styles of music and was impacted by many composers in the countries he traveled through. (Grout, Burkholder and Palisca 548) Throughout his life he composed many genres of music, primarily selling his works for income. He never had long-term stable employment unlike many other composers of his day. (Grout, Burkholder and Palisca 552) He died in Vienna in 1791.

Mozart’s Requiem Mass

The Requiem was anonymously commissioned by Count Walsegg in July 1791 as a memorial to his wife who had recently died. Mozart was working on The Magic Flute at the time and didn’t start work on the Requiem until fall of that year. He fell sick as he was working on the piece, and died before it was completed. At Mozart’s death, the Requiem Aeternam was complete as well as the figured bass, choral, and important instrumental parts for the first 8 measures of Lacrimosa. Parts of the Domine Jesu Christe and Hostias had been written. (Eisen) Franz Xaver Süssmayr, Mozart’s pupil who had helped Mozart in his last days, finished the Requiem.

A requiem is a mass for the dead as in the Latin, Missa Pro Defunctis. It gets its name from the first line of the Introit, “Requiem aeternam dona eis, Domine“ meaning “Eternal rest grant them, O Lord“. The liturgy is a modified version of the Roman Catholic mass. (Wikimedia Foundation, Inc) The text was standardized during the Council of Trent, and codified by Pope Pius V in 1570. (Wolff 66)


The Requiem starts with the Introit. The text is a prayer for the deceased that they would be raised on the Day of Judgment. The text is as follows:

Original Latin:

Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Te decet hymnus Deus, in Sion,
et tibi reddetur votum in Ierusalem.
Exaudi orationem meam;
ad te omnis caro veniet.
Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine,
et lux perpetua luceat eis.

English Translation:

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
A hymn becomes you, O God, in Zion,
and to you shall a vow be repaid in Jerusalem.
Hear my prayer;
to you shall all flesh come.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord,
and let perpetual light shine upon them.
(Text and translation taken from Wikipedia unless otherwise noted.)

The text is calm and serene, and Mozart’s music reflects this. The vocal score is set in the style of Baroque counterpoint (Losel 366) and is marked Adagio.

Next in the mass is the Kyrie. It is the only Greek text in the mass. The text is “Kyrie elesion, Christe elesion, Kyrie elesion” meaning “Lord have Mercy, Christ have mercy, Lord have mercy”. Traditionally, each line would be sung three times. Mozart set the Kyrie as a large double fugue with the first subject using the text “Kyrie elesion” and the second subject using “Christe elesion”.

In a standard requiem of the time, the Graduale and Tract would be sung next, but as Mozart omitted them, they will not be discussed here.

Dies Irae

An important part of the requiem mass is the Sequence, a text that is sung before the Gospel. Normally, this would vary based on the church year, but in the requiem a unique Latin hymn was used called the Dies Irae. The Dies Irae was written around 1250 by Thomas of Celano, an early Franciscan monk, and describes the Day of Judgment. (Caldwell and Boyd) It is a long work containing nineteen verses and comprises the bulk of Mozart’s Requiem. Mozart divided the Dies Irae into six movements, titled by the first few words in the movement.

The first movement of the sequence uses the first two verses of the Dies Irae:

Original Latin:

Dies iræ! dies illa
Solvet sæclum in favilla:
Teste David cum Sibylla!

Quantus tremor est futurus,
Quando iudex est venturus,
Cuncta stricte discussurus!

English translation:

The day of wrath, that day
Will dissolve the world in ashes
As foretold by David and the sibyl!

How much tremor there will be,
when the judge will come,
investigating everything strictly!

The Dies Irae is an incredible example of Mozart’s command of text painting and orchestration. It is angry and vicious music with off-beat rhythms, running strings, and brass fanfares. It is marked Allegro Assai, meaning very fast. Mostly homophonic, the words Dies Irae (Day of Wrath) signal a timpani roll which resembles thunder (mm. 2, 4, 23, and 25). The words Quantus tremor est futurus (How much tremor there will be) are a series of up and down scale steps in the bass voice (mm. 49), and Cuncta stricte discussurus (Investigating everything strictly) is slower and deliberate (mm. 37).

The next movement, titled Tuba, Mirum, uses the next five verses of text:

Original Latin:

Tuba, mirum spargens sonum
Per sepulchra regionum,
Coget omnes ante thronum.

Mors stupebit, et natura,
Cum resurget creatura,
Iudicanti responsura.

Liber scriptus proferetur,
In quo totum continetur,
Unde mundus iudicetur.

Iudex ergo cum sedebit,
Quidquid latet, apparebit:
Nil inultum remanebit.

Quid sum miser tunc dicturus?
Quem patronum rogaturus,
Cum vix iustus sit securus?

English Translation:

The trumpet, scattering a wondrous sound
through the sepulchres of the regions,
will summon all before the throne.

Death and nature will marvel,
when the creature arises,
to respond to the Judge.

The written book will be brought forth,
in which all is contained,
from which the world shall be judged.

When therefore the judge will sit,
whatever hides will appear:
nothing will remain unpunished.

What am I, miserable, then to say?
Which patron to ask,
When the just may hardly be sure?

The text describes the Day of Judgment as depicted in Revelation. It uses a trombone obbligato in reference to the trumpet’s call of judgment, a musical reference also used in one of Mozart’s early works, the oratorio “The Obligation of the First Commandment”, K. 35 (Cormican 17) It only uses soloists. The first verse is in major, marked Andante, and uses a bass soloist with trombone obbligato. The second and third verses are sung by the tenor soloist. There is a shift in the mood with faster strings and a minor mode (mm. 18). The third verse is sung by the alto soloist (mm. 34). The fourth verse switches back to major and is sung by the soprano (mm. 40). The final line is repeated by all four soloists in four-part harmony (mm. 51).

The next verse is a plea for mercy:

Original Latin:

Rex tremendæ maiestatis,
Qui salvandos salvas gratis,
Salva me, fons pietatis.

English Translation:

King of tremendous majesty,
who freely saves those that have to be saved,
Save me, source of mercy.

The chorus enters with a homophonic section, reminiscent of the French overture style, punctuating the first line of the text and signifying royalty. The second line of text is contrapuntal (mm. 7). The final line is quiet and slow, a tender plea for mercy (mm. 18).

The next movement is quite long and includes the next seven verses of the Dies Irae:

Original Latin:

Recordare, Iesu pie,
Quod sum causa tuæ viæ:
Ne me perdas illa die.

Quærens me, sedisti lassus:
Redemisti Crucem passus:
Tantus labor non sit cassus.

Iuste iudex ultionis,
Donum fac remissionis
Ante diem rationis.

Ingemisco, tamquam reus:
Culpa rubet vultus meus:
Supplicanti parce, Deus.

Qui Mariam absolvisti,
Et latronem exaudisti,
Mihi quoque spem dedisti.

Preces meæ non sunt dignæ:
Sed tu bonus fac benigne,
Ne perenni cremer igne.

Inter oves locum præsta,
Et ab hædis me sequestra,
Statuens in parte dextra.

English Translation:

Remember, merciful Jesus,
that I am the cause of thy way:
lest thou lose me in that day.

Seeking me, thou sat tired:
thou redeemed [me] having suffered the Cross:
let not so much hardship be lost.

Just judge of revenge,
give the gift of remission
before the day of reckoning.

I sigh, like the guilty one:
my face reddens in guilt:
Spare the supplicating one, God.

Thou who absolved Mary,
and heard the robber,
Gives hope to me, too.

My prayers are not worthy:
however, thou, Good [Lord], do good,
lest I am burned up by eternal fire.

Grant me a place among the sheep,
and take me out from among the goats,
Setting me on the right side.

This movement uses ritornello form with the music at the beginning appearing throughout the work at the transition between sections. The ritornello form also underscores the idea of remembrance used in the text. The form also doubles as a loose rondo form, with the music for the first verse being used in the third verse and, with slight modification, the last two verses combined. The last line of the penultimate verse foreshadows the music of the next section. The text is similar – both speak of being burned by eternal fire – and the motive used in the strings is similar.

The next two verses represent a change in the music:

Original Latin:

Confutatis maledictis,
Flammis acribus addictis:
Voca me cum benedictis.

Oro supplex et acclinis,
Cor contritum quasi cinis:
Gere curam mei finis.

English Translation:

Once the cursed have been rebuked,
sentenced to rancorous flames:
Call thou me with the blessed.

I meekly and humbly pray,
[my] heart is as crushed as the ashes:
Perform the healing of mine end.

This section starts with the low voices and strings singing the first two lines. The tone and rhythm is angry representing the cursed in hell. The high strings and voices then sing a quiet homophonic plea to be called with the blessed to heaven. (mm. 7, 17) (Losel 368) All voices then join in a quiet, homophonic section describing the humble prayer of the sinner, whose heart is crushed, asking for healing (mm. 26).

The final two verses of the sequence conclude the prayer for the deceased:

Original Latin:

Lacrimosa dies illa,
qua resurget ex favilla
iudicandus homo reus.
Huic ergo parce, Deus:

Pie Jesu Domine,
dona eis requiem. Amen.

English Translation:

Tearful will be that day,
on which from the ashes arises
the guilty man who is to be judged.
Spare him therefore, God.

Merciful Lord Jesus,
grant them rest. Amen.

The strings use a motive throughout representing tears. The lines “qua resurget ex favilla iudicandus homo reus” start softly and gradually get louder as they climb in pitch clearly showing the guilty rising from the ashes (mm. 5-8). The climb in pitch climaxes on the word Reus, the Latin word for guilty (mm. 8).

There is some evidence that Mozart intended an Amen fugue for the end of the sequence. A sketch of the fugue was found in the 1960s. The primary subject of the fugue is the main theme from the beginning of the requiem in strict inversion. (Maunder 173) (Wikimedia Foundation, Inc)


Original Latin:

Domine Jesu Christe, Rex gloriæ,
libera animas omnium fidelium defunctorum
de pœnis inferni et de profundo lacu.
Libera eas de ore leonis,
ne absorbeat eas tartarus,
ne cadant in obscurum;
sed signifer sanctus Michæl
repræsentet eas in lucem sanctam,
quam olim Abrahæ promisisti et semini eius.

English Translation:

Lord Jesus Christ, King of glory,
free the souls of all the faithful departed
from infernal punishment and the deep pit.
Free them from the mouth of the lion;
do not let Tartarus swallow them,
nor let them fall into darkness;
but may the standard-bearer Saint Michael,
lead them into the holy light
which you once promised to Abraham and his seed.

The first two lines have a lyrical melody over a primarily homophonic texture. They are followed by the third line; a disjunct melody with many melodic leaps. The fourth line is a loose polyphonic reworking of the material in the first two lines. The fifth and sixth lines develop the disjunct leaps from line three. Lines seven and eight are a canon built on the melody from lines one and two, sung by soloists. The canon is built on descending fifths, the soprano starts with the melody on G, the alto follows with the melody on C, the tenor follows with the melody on F, and finally the bass comes in on B-flat. (Wolff 92-93)

Finally, there is a wonderful fugue using the last line of text. Mozart uses fugue and imitative polyphony throughout the requiem when the text refers to the Old Testament. In an interesting contrast, he is using the older baroque style for older characters. (Wolff 110) The fugue returns in the next movement, Hostias, where the last line is the same.

Original Latin:

Hostias et preces tibi, Domine,
laudis offerimus;
tu suscipe pro animabus illis,
quarum hodie memoriam facimus.
Fac eas, Domine, de morte transire ad vitam.
Quam olim Abrahæ promisisti et semini eius.

English Translation:

O Lord, we offer You
sacrifices and prayers of praise;
accept them on behalf of those souls
whom we remember today.
Let them, O Lord, pass over from death to life,
as you once promised to Abraham and his seed.

Hostias is slow and homophonic, quite a contrast from the previous movement. The first four lines of text are repeated twice and then the fifth line is used, stylistically similar to the first four. The fifth line ends outlining a D-major triad which sets up the return to G minor for the Quam olim fugue indicated by the words “Quam olim da capo“.


Both movements of the Sanctus appear to be composed entirely by Süssmayr without any of Mozart’s sketches to assist him. (Maunder ch. 5-6)

Original Latin:

Sanctus, Sanctus, Sanctus,
Dominus Deus Sabaoth;
pleni sunt caeli et terra gloria tua.
Hosanna in excelsis.

English Translation:

Holy, Holy, Holy,
Lord God of Hosts;
Heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.

The text of the Sanctus is taken from Isaiah 6:3, describing the angels’ song in front of God’s throne. (Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.) It is arranged homophonically, using large chords to symbolize the angel choir. The fourth line is a short fugue, repeated for the same text in the Benedictus.

Original Latin:

Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.
Hosanna in excelsis.

English Translation:

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.

The text of the Benedictus is from Matthew 21:9 which describes the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem for the Passover feast. (Wikimedia Foundation, Inc.) The music is calm and serene. Polyphonic in nature, it only uses the soloists, developing a main idea throughout. The texture is light and airy. It can be divided into two parts. In the first part, the women lead, with the alto starting and the soprano picking up the theme and embellishing it before entering a section of four part polyphony. In the second section, the roles are reversed with the bass starting and the tenor picking up the melody. Both sections are essentially the same with slight differences for embellishment. Both sections end with an interlude composed of alternating winds and strings. The movement ends with a repeat of the fugue from the previous movement.

Agnus Dei

Original Latin:

Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona eis requiem,
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona eis requiem,
Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi, dona eis requiem sempiternam.

English Translation:

Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant them rest,
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant them rest,
Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world, grant them eternal rest.

A traditional part of the mass ordinary, the Agnus Dei is modified for the requiem by replacing the words “have mercy on us“, with “grant them rest“. This movement was likely based on a sketch by Mozart (Maunder 58), now lost. The threefold repetition is begun each time with the words “Agnus Dei, qui tollis peccata mundi“, marked forte and the words “dona eis requiem“ marked piano. The final time, a quiet section on the word “sempiternam” ends in F, the relative major of d minor in which the rest of the movement is set.


Original Latin:

Lux æterna luceat eis, Domine,
cum sanctis tuis in æternum,
quia pius es.
Requiem æternam dona eis, Domine;
et lux perpetua luceat eis ;
cum Sanctis tuis in æternum,
quia pius es

English Translation:

May everlasting light shine upon them, O Lord,
with your Saints forever,
for you are kind.
Grant them eternal rest, O Lord,
and may everlasting light shine upon them.
with your Saints forever,
for you are merciful.

Lux æterna is a repeat of the opening Requiem æternam movement. It was usual at the time to repeat the opening movement’s music at the end of a requiem mass, an example being Michael Haydn’s Requiem in C minor, written twenty years earlier. (Wolff 110) The two sections of the first movement are repeated in reverse order, starting in major and then going to minor. The Kyrie fugue is also repeated using the text “cum Sanctis tuis in æternum, quia pius es”. Interestingly, the entire requiem ends on an open fifth using only the notes D and A.

Would Mozart have ended this work with an open fifth? We will never know. It illustrates the paradox of this incomplete work yet which feels and sounds so complete. It gives a timeless witness to Mozart’s faith and trust in his Savior who would “Call thou me with the blessed”. Nothing more needed to be said.

Works Cited

Caldwell, John and Malcolm Boyd. Dies irae. n.d. 18 April 2010 <>.

Cormican, Brendan. Mozart’s Death – Mozart’s Requiem. Belfast: The Amadeus Press, 1991.

Eisen, Cliff, et al. Mozart. n.d. 18 April 2010 <>.

Grout, Donald Jay, J. Peter Burkholder and Claude V. Palisca. A History of Western Music. 8th. New York: W. W. Norton and Company, 2010.

Losel, Steffen. ““May Such Great Effort Not Be in Vain”: Mozart on Divine Love, Judgement, and Retribution.” The Journal of Religion 89.3 (2009): 361-400.

Maunder, Richard. Mozart’s Requiem: On Preparing A New Edition. New York: Oxford University Press, 1988.

Mozart, Wolfgang Amadeus. “Requiem, K. 262.” 1932. IMSLP / Petrucci Music Library. 1 May 2010 <,_K.626_%28Mozart,_Wolfgang_Amadeus%29>.

—. “Requiem, K. 262.” 1965. Digitale Mozart-Edition. Nowak. 1 May 2010 <>.

Tomowa-Sintow, Anna, et al. “Requiem, K. 262.” cond. Herbert von Karajan. By Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Berlin: Deutsche Grammophon, 1976.

Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Dies Irae. 22 July 2004. 17 April 2010 <>.

—. Requiem. 22 July 2004. 17 April 2010 <>.

—. Requiem (Mozart). 22 July 2004. 4 May 2010 <>.

Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. Sanctus. 22 July 2004. 4 May 2010 <>.

Wolff, Christoph. Mozart’s Requiem: Historical and Analytical Studies. Berkley: University of California Press, 1994.

Original PDF

Music History II Term Paper – Mozart’s Requiem

Hymnsoft Followup

Earlier, I showed how to get Hymnsoft to work in Vista with its new security model. I now am updating some staff at my church to Windows 7 x64 and hit a different problem with Hymnsoft. As mentioned previously, Hymnsoft is a 16 bit application, a relic (if you saw this word and chuckled, you are a Lutheran) from the days of Windows 3.1. 64 bit versions of Windows including XPx64 do not run 16 bit applications. This was not much of a problem, as most people didn’t run 64 bit Windows due to driver issues. Most of them have been resolved now and x64 Windows 7 is seeing significant adoption.

I understand that NPH is writing a new version of Hymnsoft, hopefully it will be done soon.

If anyone wants to jump the gun, or help me, here are some details about the Hymnsoft backend:

It looks like text and information behind hymnsoft is being stored in a Superbase database. The format is fairly simple, and it should be possible to write a converter for a more modern .Net based app. Superbase as a format appears to be unmaintained, although you can buy ODBC connectors for it. I wonder if it is possible to extract the ODBC connectors from the SB*.dll files included with hymnsoft.

The music is stored in .NDX files. They are actually playable in Windows Media Player as MIDIs, so if someone figured out the naming scheme, it would be easy to just replicate the playback functionality by creating a new database mapping for human-readable names.

If NPH is going to release a new version, most of this effort would be rather pointless. My question is, why is it taking so long to do? Windows 95 came out, essentially obsoleting 16 bit applications in late 1995. Here we are 15 years later. A while ago, a recompile would have sufficed. Now a rewrite is necessary.

If you work on Hymnsoft, please rewrite it in a modern language like C#. Don’t use a compiled language where we have to go through this whole exercise again in a few years. Better yet, open source the client and sell the data. If the current Hymnsoft code was available under an open source license, I would have already rewritten it to work on modern systems. NPH wouldn’t have to spend the money.

If anyone working on the Hymnsoft project would like to contact me, I would be happy to work with you, or further do some coding on this project. Leave a comment.

Theory II Listening Assignment – Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6

Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany in 1770. His works are traditionally divided into three periods. In his early period, he focused on imitating classical style, although his personal characteristics of darker pieces, motivic development, and larger forms are already evident or foreshadowed. In his middle period, he is beginning to go deaf, and has realized that he cannot reverse the trend. His works express struggle and triumph. He stretches forms, with development sections becoming the bulk of his works. He is breaking from tradition and laying the groundwork for the romantic style period. In his late period, he breaks almost completely with classical forms, but ironically starts to study and use baroque forms and counterpoint. He is almost completely deaf, and his works become much more introspective with massive amounts of contrast between sections, ideas, and movements. He dies in Vienna in 1827.

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 6 is the forerunner of the romantic symphony. It is programmatic, telling a story. It is based on nature, a common theme in the romantic era. While a typical romantic symphony still had four movements, Beethoven stretched this by adding a fifth movement.

Symphony No. 6 is one of Beethoven’s few programmatic works and describes a country scene. It is titled “Recollections of country life”. It has 5 movements, unusual for a classical symphony. The first movement is in sonata form and is titled “Awakening of cheerful feelings upon arrival in the country”. It has two beautiful rustic themes. The second movement is titled “Scene at the brook” and depicts a bubbling stream on a calm day. It is also in sonata form with two flowing themes. The third movement is a scherzo and depicts a country dance being titled “Happy gathering of country folk”. It is an unusual scherzo with the scherzo section played only once before continuing to the trio. After the trio, instead of returning to the scherzo, a short section in 2/4 time interrupts. Then the scherzo is played, followed by the trio again. The 2/4 section appears a second time, followed by the scherzo one last time. The dancing in the third movement is interrupted by raindrops ushering in the fourth movement, titled “Thunderstorm”. The fourth movement is a huge, angry work with strings and timpani playing a sonic representation of a downpour with lightning and thunder. The storm finally subsides giving way to the fifth movement titled “Shepherd’s song: Cheerful and thankful feelings after the storm.” The fifth movement is in sonata rondo form.

Joseph Kerman, e. a. (n.d.). Beethoven, Ludwig van. Retrieved April 5, 2010, from Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online:
Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. (2003, July 22). Symphony No. 6 (Beethoven). Retrieved April 5, 2010, from Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia:

Multi-resolution calendar using CSS3

I am trying to write examples of how a truly resolution independent website would be written if you only had to worry about modern, standards-compliant browsers.

This is a grid calendar that collapses into a list when the browser window shrinks beyond a certain point. The idea is to create (without javascript if possible) a usable calendar that is usable from a 23″ LCD panel to an iPhone/iPod Touch without changing the HTML. Webkit and Gecko based mobile browsers are powerful enough today to be able to run full web pages, so there is no really good reason to code a separate website for them. Part of the theory is to make these webpages usable on old (640×480 or 800×600) screens as a nice side effect (ignoring the fact that most computers running these older screens don’t have compatible modern browsers for them).

My list of issues with this demo:

  • I hate those spacer divs at the beginning. Is there a way to align the first row of divs (CSS table cells) to the right?
  • There are double borders on all of the inner gridlines. I haven’t found a good way to remove those.
  • When you expand the browser window past a certain point (I have a 1920×1080 display and it is just before full screen) the grid stops expanding. Not sure why. Not a huge issue, but one that bugs me.
  • If a user were looking at the list version of the page, they would probably expect it to start at the current date. I don’t see any good way to do this outside of javascript, although this is probably a fine place to use it. I am using the time HTML5 tag with the datetime attribute, so it would be pretty simple javascript. I don’t think it is possible, but it would be awesome if you could use a css selector that would look for the time tag with the datetime attribute that contained the current date.
  • This doesn’t work in IE. I didn’t expect it to work in < IE8, but I was disappointed to see that IE9 does not support the media queries fully yet. Hopefully this will be fixed before final release.
  • I am not sure my usage of HTML5 tags is the way they were intended, especially the header and time tags. If anyone can point me to something that corrects my usage, I would appreciate it.


In my theme redesign, I used media queries to make it scalable from a desktop widescreen to an iPhone.

Theory II Listening Assignment – Mozart’s 40th Symphony

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg, Austria in 1756. His musical talent was noticed very early, and his father, Leopold Mozart, taught him music theory and how to play the keyboard and violin. He toured Europe with his father, playing for many royal families. On this tour, he absorbed many national styles of music and was impacted by many composers. Throughout his life he composed many genres of music, primarily selling his works for income. He never had long-term stable employment unlike many other composers of his day. He died in Vienna in 1791.

Mozart’s symphonies were typical of the classical era. They had four movements, each of which had a specified form. The first movement would usually be Sonata-Allegro form, the second a slow ABA, and the third a Minuet and Trio. The finale would usually be a Rondo, although sometimes Sonata form was used.

Mozart’s 40th symphony is unusual for Mozart as it is one of only two symphonies he wrote in minor, the other being the 25th symphony. The four movements are all in sonata form except for the third movement which a typical minuet and trio. The first movement uses a dark, flowing melody as the first theme, followed by a contrasting happy theme in the relative major key of B-flat. The second movement is lyrical and slow in the submediant major key of E-flat. The third movement minuet is in the tonic key of G-minor. It is dark and angry, hardly usable as a dance. The trio section is in the parallel key of G-major and is lyrical and beautiful. The final movement’s first theme is vicious and can barely be called a melody. The second theme is the complete opposite with a lyrical theme in the relative major.


Cliff Eisen, et al. “Mozart.” Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. 6 Mar. 2010

“Symphony No. 40 (Mozart).” Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia. Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. 22 July 2004.
Web. 25 Mar. 2010. <>.

Thaxted Harmonization

This is a four-part harmonization for Thaxted. It is one of my first voice-leading works, so there are some issues with parts being difficult to sing. I think it would be quite beautiful sung, although difficult. I intended it for use as an alternate harmonization for Jerusalem the Golden.

Thaxted is the chorale melody from the middle of Jupiter from the Planets by Gustav Holst. – Lilypond source
Thaxted_0 – Midi file
Thaxted_0 – PDF of Sheet Music

Arrangement of Cradle Song (Away in a Manger)

I recently arranged a four part harmonization of the tune cradle song. Not all that interesting, except that I am experimenting with diminished triads and 7th chords. I think it came out rather nicely. The motivation was a lame arrangement that was brought home by a sibling from a Christmas program.

Feedback anyone?

Cradle – Lilypond source
Cradle Song – Midi file
Cradle Song – PDF of Sheet Music

Music History I – Martin Luther, the German Reformation, and their impact on sacred music.


Martin Luther

Martin Luther, leader of the German Reformation, was a gifted tenor, flutist, lutenist, poet, and composer (Schalk, 19 – 20). He admired and extensively used polyphonic music from the Netherlands, particularly that of Josquin des Pres (Bainton, 268) (Grout, 214). Luther personally composed and arranged at least 10 chorales (Bainton, 266-267). When singing with friends, he would find errors in the counterpoint, which he would correct (Nettl, 61).

Music had a tremendous personal impact in his life. While under the ban of the Holy Roman Emperor and excommunicated by Pope Leo X, Luther had to stay in the castle of Coburg, while his patron, Prince Elector Johann of Saxony, went to the Diet at Augsburg to defend a confession of faith. In his room, Luther became very depressed and believed his end was near. In this state, Luther sent a letter to a friend, the famous German composer Ludwig Senfl, asking that he send him a polyphonic version of a favorite antiphon, In pace in id ipsum. Senfl did not send that song until later, perhaps because he had yet to write it, but he immediately sent Luther a copy of his motet on the 17th verse of the 118th Psalm: Non moriar sed vivam (I will not die, but live and declare the works of the Lord). The text and music had an incredible effect on Luther. He wrote those words on the wall of his room and came back to the fight with a renewed spirit (Nettl, 21-25). Luther later arranged Non moriar himself as a motet (Nettl, 60).

Surrounded by music from an early age (Schalk, 9), Luther grew up in Thuringia, Germany, which was well known for its music (Nettl, 7). As a schoolboy, he learned Latin and music, and, along with the other students, was required to sing at all of the church services. They learned hymns, versicles, responses, and Psalms, and studied music theory, including the church modes (Schalk, 12). At the age of 15, Luther joined one of the school choirs, the Kurrende, under the direction of a prefect. They went house to house, sang, and begged for alms. They also sang at the weddings and funerals of rich burghers for a small stipend (Schalk, 14). Luther proved in school to be very eloquent and capable of writing high quality poetry (Schalk, 14). Later he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Erfurt (Schalk, 15). On July 17, 1505, Luther joined the monastery of the Augustinians, who were well known for their cultivation of music and how they prized the Psalms (Schalk, 16). Two years later, he sang his first mass (Schalk, 15-16).

Luther struggled fiercely with his conscience, seeing God only as an angry judge who must be pacified by good works. He realised that he could never live up to the requirements of God’s law. Luther believed that to be forgiven, he must confess; to confess, he must recall; to recall, he must be aware of his sin at the time of commission (Bainton, 42). He started to despair of forgiveness. His superior in the monastery sent him to the Scriptures for study, particularly the New Testament. And while preparing lectures on Romans, he found the answer:

I greatly longed to understand Paul’s epistle to the Romans and nothing stood in the way but that one expression, “the justice of God,” because I took it to mean that justice whereby God is just and deals justly in punishing the unjust. My situation was that, although an impeccable monk, I stood before God as a sinner troubled in conscience, and I had no confidence that my merit would assuage him. Therefore I did not love a just and angry God, but rather hated and murmured against Him. Yet, I clung to the dear Paul and had a great yearning to know what he meant.

Night and day I pondered until I saw the connection between the justice of God and the statement that “the just shall live by his faith.” Then I grasped that the justice of God is that righteousness by which through grace and sheer mercy God justifies us through faith. Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise. The whole of Scripture took on a new meaning, and whereas before the “justice of God” had filled me with hate, now it became to me inexpressibly sweet in greater love. This passage of Paul became to me a gate to heaven…

If you have a true faith that Christ is your saviour, then at once you have a gracious God, for your faith leads you in and opens up God’s heart and will, that you should see pure grace and overflowing love. This it is to behold God in faith that you should look upon His fatherly, friendly heart, in which there is no anger nor ungraciousness. He who sees God as angry does not see him rightly but looks only on a curtain, as if a dark cloud had been drawn across his face.
(Bainton, 49-50)

Finally at peace with God, Luther realised that many church doctrines were at odds with Scripture. This came to a head when in 1517, in order to raise funds for a new church in Rome, Pope Leo X offered a German bishop, Albert of Brandenberg, another bishopric in exchange for managing the sales of a new indulgence, which supposedly forgave all sins (Bainton, 56). Indulgences were pieces of paper that certified that a certain amount of merit from the saints went to offset the sins of the holder. These had been sold for years, but this particular one overstepped the normal bounds of such usage. Luther was furious that the church would take advantage of the Christian to extort payment for salvation when all he needed was faith in Christ. In response, Luther posted 95 theses or points for debate on the Castle Church’s doors in Wittenberg, where he taught. They were written in Latin and intended only for debate among scholars, but several students translated them into German and spread them among the people of Germany. The sales of the indulgences dropped off significantly, and after several attempts to get Luther to recant, the Pope issued a Papal Bull or decree stating that unless he recanted within 60 days, he would face excommunication. Upon the Bull reaching Luther, he burnt it (Bainton, 59-126).

The church had declared Luther an outlaw, but it was up to the civil authorities to enforce. Luther’s lord, Prince Frederic III, protested that no German could be executed unless tried before his peers. To this end, Emperor Charles V issued a safe conduct to bring Luther to the Diet at Worms.

Under advice from the papal emissaries, Luther was asked two questions, and a simple answer was demanded for both of them. They had collected a large number of Luther’s writings. He was asked if he was the author, to which he quietly said yes. He was then asked if he would recant what he had written. Luther asked for a day to consider. He was granted this and the next day was brought back before the Diet and asked again whether he would recant. He stated that the works were not all of one kind. He said that in some, he had outlined Christian truths so simply that his opponents had admitted their usefulness. If he recanted these, he would be the first to retract works approved by both friends and enemies. In the next group, he had attacked the Popes and their power. He stated that to recant these would be to condone evil practices. In the last group, he had attacked individuals who had opposed his work. In these he admitted that he had spoken too harshly (Bainton, 129-144). He then said that:

Unless I am convicted by Scripture and plain reason – I do not accept the authority of popes and councils, for they have often contradicted each other – my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and I will not recant anything, for to go against conscience is neither right nor safe. Here I stand, I cannot do otherwise. God help me. Amen.
(Bainton, 144)

The emperor outlawed Luther, but Luther was still protected by Prince Frederic. Luther spent the rest of his life teaching and working to reform the church and cleanse abuses. A large part of this work was to review and rework the Mass and sacred music.


Luther’s views on music in worship contrasted with the two other prominent religious philosophies of the day. Catholic music reflected the view of the church as an institution separate from and above the congregation. Catholic sacred works were uniform and collectivistic, with very smooth melodic lines and very little sense of rhythm (Nettl, 2). Catholic composers rarely invented their own melodies, but instead took them from extant pieces (Nettl, 2). However, many Catholic works were based on irreligious secular tunes, which the reformers considered distracting from the sacred nature of the Latin text (Nettl, 6).

Two other reformation movements of Luther’s time were the Calvinists lead by John Calvin, and the Zwinglians lead by Ulrich Zwingli. Both considered the arts to be purely secular and banned or strictly regulated their use. Calvin retained only congregational singing (Nettl, 4), and Zwingli forbade music altogether (Schalk, 10)(Nettl, 5). Interestingly, Zwingli was a talented musician. He set two of his own songs to four-part polyphonic music and played almost every instrument (Nettl, 5). Yet, he stood by and encouraged the destruction of church organs by his followers (Nettl, 5).

Unlike the Catholics, Luther viewed music as an expression of faith, a vehicle of prayer and praise (Nettl, 6). Lutheran music represented the people as the Church, rather than the church above the people (Nettl, 4). The minister became a representative of the congregation before God, instead of the congregation before the church (Nettl, 4). As such, Luther taught that music could have a much wider use and variety than previously allowed (Schalk, 10-11). He appreciated the rich Catholic tradition of music in worship, and used it in his own masses (Schalk, 10). The liturgy was revised to remove papal abuses and to enlighten the people. Congregational song (chorales) was cultivated to inspire and instruct (Bainton, 255). Luther understood from personal experience the power of music to move the hearts and minds of the listener (Schalk, 10). He said:

Music is a fair and lovely gift of God which has often wakened and moved me to the joy of preaching. St. Augustine was troubled in conscience whenever he caught himself delighting in music, which he took to be sinful. He was a choice spirit, and were he living today would agree with us. I have no use for cranks who despise music, because it is a gift of God. Music drives away the devil and makes people gay; they forget thereby all wrath, unchastity, arrogance, and the like. Next after theology I give to music the highest place and the greatest honor I would not exchange what little I know of music for something great. Experience proves that next to the Word of God, only music deserves to be extolled as the mistress and governess of the feelings of the human heart. We know that to the devil music is distasteful and sufferable. My heart bubbles up and overflows in response to music, which has so often refreshed me and delivered me from dire plagues.
(Bainton, 266-267)

Luther was the only reformation theologian to unequivocally affirm music as an excellent gift of God to be used in his praise and the proclamation of His word (Schalk, 9).


Luther’s largest musical work was his revision of the Roman mass. In 1523, he undertook to revise the mass, trying to alter it as little as possible. The goal of the revision was to remove the stated need for human merit. Because it referred to sacrifice, the canon of the mass disappeared and was replaced by an exhortation to receive communion. He restored the Early Church’s emphasis on communion as an act of thanksgiving to God and fellowship with Christ and each other (Bainton, 255-256). The sermon was given a much more prominent place. The Formula Missae et Communionis was released later that year (Nettl, 69-72) in Latin and was intended for the more wealthy churches and festivals (Nettl, 69).

Luther’s experience with plainchant as a cantor made him interested in writing a liturgy in the vernacular, but he considered himself incapable of performing the task of translating (Schalk, 26). However, because the people would not notice the revision of the Latin mass, in 1526, Luther translated it into German (Bainton, 255-256). The biggest change in the liturgy was the music (Bainton, 266). The liturgy contained three primary elements of music: chants intoned by the priest, chorales sung by the choir, and hymns sung by the congregation (Bainton, 266). Johann Walther and Conrad Rupff were asked to come to Wittenberg as advisors in the making of a German mass (Bainton, 268). Walther described it so:

When he, Luther, forty years ago desired to introduce the German mass in Wittenberg, he communicated this wish to the Prince Elector of Saxony and to the late Duke Johann. He urged His Electoral Highness to bring the old singing master, the worthy Conrad Rupff, and me to Wittenberg. At that time he discussed with us the nature of the eight modes, and finally he himself applied the eighth mode to the Epistle and the sixth mode to the Gospel, saying: ‘Christ is a kind Lord, and His Words are sweet; therefore we want to take the sixth mode for the Gospel; and because Paul is a serious apostle we want to arrange the eighth mode for the epistle.’ Luther himself wrote the music for the lessons and the words of the institution of the true blood and body of Christ, sang them to me, and wanted to hear my opinion of it. He kept me for three weeks to note down properly the chants of the Gospels and the Epistles, until the first mass was sung in Wittenberg. I had to attend it and to take a copy of this first mass with me to Torgau. And one sees, hears, and understands at once how the Holy Ghost has been active not only in the authors who composed the Latin hymns and set them to music, but in Herr Luther himself, who now has invented most of the poetry and melody of the German chants. And it can be seen from the German Sanctus how he arranged all the notes to the text with the right accent and concent in masterly fashion. I, at the time, was tempted to ask His Reverence from where he had these pieces and his knowledge; whereupon the dear man laughed at my simplicity. He told me that the poet Virgil had taught him such, he, who is able so artistically to fit his meter and words to the story which he is narrating. All music should be so arranged that its notes are in harmony with the text.
(Nettl, 75-76)

Luther was interested in the music reflecting the language of the text. In his work Against the Heavenly Prophets in the Matter of Images and Sacraments (1525), he said:

I would gladly have a German mass today. I am also occupied with it. But I would very much like it to have a true German character. For to translate the Latin text and retain the Latin tone or notes has my sanction, though it doesn’t sound polished or well done. Both the text and notes, accent, melody, and manner of rendering ought to grow out of the true mother tongue and its inflection, otherwise all of it becomes an imitation, in the manner of apes.
(Schalk, 26 – 27)

Luther was not the first to write and use a German mass, but the others were simple translations of the Latin (Nettl, 73). Luther changed the Latin melismatic chants into German syllabic chants to better reflect the language (Nettl, 78). Parts of the liturgy were now sung by the congregation: the Credo and Sanctus, for example (Bainton, 270). However, Luther was very aware of the rich background of Catholic church music and kept much of it (Grout, 213).

The largest liturgical change of the reformation was taking congregational participation from being merely tolerated to the centerpiece of worship (Schalk, 6). Prior to the reformation, the music of the mass was restricted almost entirely to the celebrant and choir (Bainton, 269), but now the focus of the mass shifted to the proclamation of the word, and the chorale as the embodiment of this (Marshall). Chorales were originally a monophonic, metric, rhymed, strophic poem and melody (Grout, 214). Luther was very interested in congregational music and was willing to write works as models for what he had in mind (Schalk, 25). He was not only concerned with the music, but also with the words, encouraging good poets to write hymn texts (Schalk, 26). Luther frequently used existing melodies for his hymns, but he modified them beyond simple contrafactum because of his special attention to the declamation of the text (Marshall). Use of literary and poetic forms gave his music a strong presence (Marshall). Through his work, Luther set the standard for chorales, such as what topics they would cover and how they would be used (Marshall). When first introduced, children would be taught the hymns in school and scattered among the congregation to lead the singing (Schalk, 82). Luther used specific modes for different categories of hymns. Ionian for hymns of faith, Dorian or Hypodorian for meditative hymns, and Phrygian for repentance (Marshall). German chorales were sometimes used in the Latin mass (Marshall).

The first time that the German mass was performed was the 20th Sunday after Trinity, October 29th, 1524 (Nettl, 73). The overall structure of the mass was left intact, with the ordinary and proper being left mostly unchanged formulaically (Bainton, 255-256). After the German mass was completed, the Latin mass was still performed, considered a more solemn service for feast days (Nettl, 72).

Other Work

Luther worked hard on the behalf of good, trained choirs (Bainton, 269) and insisted that such choirs be supported and funded (Schalk, 24). In a letter to a prince, Luther said:

Kings, princes, and lords must support music: it is indeed fitting and proper that potentates and regents regulate the use and propagation of the fine arts. While some private citizens and common people are willing to finance the cultivation of music and love it, they are not able to shoulder its maintenance and cultivation.
(Schalk, 24)

In 1524, Luther published a hymnal which included twenty-three of his own hymns. Twelve were paraphrases from Latin chant, and six were psalms that had been put into verse (Bainton, 270) Luther taught that musicians, musical organizations, and music itself were institutions which glorified God, and to not support them would be to squander His gift to mankind (Schalk, 25). Luther was also a capable polyphonic composer, publishing a motet on the Latin text Non moriar sed Lazarus in 1545 (Schalk, 28).

Luther’s influence on music cannot be understated. He set the stage for the next 300 years of music. The idea that music as an expression of personal creativity could be pleasing to God opened the door for Bach, Handel, Haydn, and Mendelssohn (Nettl, 19). He was the only reformation leader that treasured and encouraged the arts as a reflection of the creative ability granted to people by their Creator, and as such pleasing to Him.


Schalk, Carl F. 1988. Luther on Music: Paradigms of Praise. St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House

Nettl, Paul. 1948. Luther and Music. Philadelphia: The Muhlenberg Press

Bainton, Roland H. Here I stand: A Life of Martin Luther. Nashville: Abingdon Press

Grout, Donald J. A History of Western Music. New York: W. W. Norton and Company

Robert L. Marshall and Robin A. Leaver. “Chorale.” Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. 8 Dec. 2009 <>.

Robin A. Leaver. “Luther, Martin.” Grove Music Online. Oxford Music Online. 8 Dec. 2009 <>.

Other sources:

Luther in 1533 by Lucas Cranach:

Non moriar sed vivam by Ludwig Senfl. Score from:

Luther Before the Diet of Worms by Anton von Werner, photogravure after the historicist painting in the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart. From

Where in Cyberspace are the Carmen Sandiego Game Devs?

I have been trying to get Where in the USA is Carmen Sandiego working on my school’s computers for a while. I decided to go in deep over Christmas break.

Where in the USA is Carmen Sandiego (CSUSA from now on) comes in 3 main versions. 3.0, 3.5, and 4.0 School Edition. The major changes are in compatibility. 3.0 worked great on Windows 9x, but crashed a lot on XP (when it worked at all). 3.5 crashed less. 4.0 doesn’t even start on some computers, and crashes randomly on others unless you have compatibility mode enabled. However, 4.0 devs had the brainstorm that in the days of 500G hard drives, they might want to give people the option of installing the 700M of data to the hard drive instead of always running it off of the CD.

4.0 has another difference over prior versions. The videos in the 3.x versions of the game run using Quicktime 2. This is a huge security problem. It is also an annoying dependency. With 4.0, the game devs decided to swap out the Quicktime code with the RADTools Bink library. A smart move with one problem. When CSUSA plays a video on some systems, it crashes. I tracked down the crash to the binkw32 dll. Evidentially, when CSUSA plays a video it calls the YUV_blit_16bpp_mask function. This function has some problem when called on a system running certain video drivers, including but not limited to, the failsafe Windows VGA driver and the Intel 815 driver. The latter is used on over half of the systems I maintain. However, it is an older chipset for which a driver release has not been made since 2006.

I am currently waiting for a response from the developing company. If they give me a fix or workaround, I will be happy and will post it here. Otherwise I will contact the company we purchased CSUSA from, Intel, and Microsoft. Hopefully I will get a fix eventually.

Hymnsoft Vista compatability


I really want to know why NPH is still using and maintaining Hymnsoft in its current form. Hymnsoft is a piece of software that allows church faculty to have the LW hymnal in electronic form. Really cool program. Only one problem… It doesn’t work in Vista.

The symptoms are that when you run hymnsoft in Vista, the program starts and pops up two dialog boxes stating that it cannot find a file. After clicking OK on those dialogs, the program closes.

I need this program to work in Vista for a couple faculty members of the WELS Lutheran School at which I work. Just about every piece of Windows software can be made to run on any later version of Windows with enough effort. An exception is Where in the USA is Carmen Sandiego, but that is a story for another blog posting.

I brought home a copy of the Hymnsoft Pro install CD and proceeded to create a virtual machine running Vista using Sun Virtualbox. When I am trying to debug a Windows application, I typically use the Windows Sysinternals Toolkit, particularly Process Monitor and Process Explorer.

I loaded process monitor and had it capture a run of the app. Then I tried to filter the output so that it only showed entries related to the hymnsoft executable. First indication of trouble. The hymnsoft app did not show up in the listing. I then loaded process explorer to see what the process was named. I could not find it in that listing.

I finally figured out what was going on when I ran the Windows Task Manager. I clicked on the app and then clicked Go To Process. The process it took me to was the Windows Defender process. That made no sense. I then closed the app and restarted it as an admin. Two things happened. Firstly, the program worked. I thought I had tried that previously. Secondly, Task Manager showed the host process as NTVDM.exe. After a little googling, it dawned on me. This is a 16bit app, probably originally written for Windows 3.1. NTVDM is a component of the 16bit emulator in Windows.

I really don’t know why NPH hasn’t has a developer rewrite this program in .Net. I personally could probably do it in a week. It is not a complicated program. Their website has a news entry as of Feb 3, 2005 that states that they are undergoing a rewrite. I am beginning to suspect that this program receives government funding.

The gist of it all is that there are two ways that I have found to get Hymnsoft to work in Vista. The first is to run it as an administrator. You can set this in the compatibility settings. The second way I have found is to change the permissions of C:\Program Files\Hymnsoft and set Everyone to Full Control. Both of these techniques seem to work, at least in a virtual machine. I will try this on the real systems later.