avril 8th, 2013 7 h 24 min

Free masonry and music so deeply entwine that we can hardly describe the linkage. It can be divided up into two situations
1°) Music serves masonry:
Some music is specifically written for ritual purposes. For example Mozart wrote
“An die Freude”(to joy); a song based on a Masonic poem dedicated to the union chain
– Some Instrumental pieces such as “Adagio K411” intended to processional entrance for lodge or ”Maurerische Trauermusik” (Masonic funeral music) for funeral or  (possibly for initiation to the third degree)
“Gesellenreise” (journey of the companions) sung during the initiation to the second degree.
However, the situation is not always so clear. For instance “Auld lang syne”,sometimes  sung during the union chain, is a Masonic adaptation by Robert Burns of an old folk song that broadly oversteps masonry. Furthermore, lots of rituals are supplemented with non Masonic music.
In an other hand ,some Sibelius’ music pieces are labeled “Church Music” though there were specifically intended to Masonic ritual.

2° Masonic symbolism is part of the music material for the composer.
“Die Zauberflöte” (the magic flute), by Mozart and Schikaneder (both masons) is certainly the most convincing example but most of the time the situation is rather unclear; the danger being to see symbol where there is not. The most striking example is the number 3 which commonly occurs in classical sonatas and others pieces .
The most evident situation is therefore songs based on an explicit Masonic text even though some doubts occur as far as Beethoven is concerned.

Occurrence of numerology or symbol in musical piece may be fortuitous or remains the, not necessary a Free Mason, composer ‘secret. Usage of the golden number is so frequent nowadays that it is no longer a secret.

A third situation embraces the two first ones.

Here I’m thinking to the opening of Mozart’s quartet K465 which expresses the impression of the apprentice’s initiation passing from dark to light. This piece « containing many mistakes that offend the good taste« * gave rise to to many critics and were largely rejected by his contemporaries . This is an illustration of the difficulty to export  masonic idea outside from the lodge.

Conclusion: intricacies of symbolism do not allow perceiving a clear border between profane and sacred music.

*Prince Krazalkovicz

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