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[文化博览] 2016-06-06 BBC:巴赫:激情的一生 Bach:A Passionate Life-5

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Homework

Luther decided that his best weapon to use against the devil was black ink. And in a matter of weeks he sat down on this desk and he wrote a translation from the Greek of the New Testament. And it wasn’t just in any old German. He decided that he needed to amalgamate 18 different dialects. And in fact, he established the roots of the German language as we know it.

Not only did Luther want the Bible to be in the language of the people. He also wanted them to be able to join in the music, something that in the Catholic Church, was much more the province of trained choirs.

Luther was convinced that music added extra expression and eloquence to the biblical texts. “The notes make the words come alive”, he wrote. In fact, without music, man is little more than a stone. So the words appealed to the intellect, and music appealed to the passions. And besides, why should the devil have all that good tunes? Luther and his followers made sure he didn’t. They choraled secular tunes that everybody knew including quite earthy love songs, and they set them to new words so the congregation could belt them out in Church.
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