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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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500 years of music

Thrivent CD set tells of Lutheran heritage

Your congregation possesses a treasure you may not yet have discovered: Celebrating the Musical Heritage of the Lutheran Church, a set of five CDs and a CD-ROM. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans last fall sent this resource free to all Lutheran congregations.

Each of the CDs is devoted to the music and composers of one century, from the 16th to the 20th. The CD-ROM provides background and explanations, along with a wealth of supplementary material, additional music and links to other sources. Various 21st century experts offer comments. An accompanying booklet, listing all compositions and composers, also includes ROM instructions, outlines and other information. (For a preview, go to www.thrivent.com/heritage/music.)

For example, the 16th century CD's selections range from chant to organ music to a "Mass for Christmas Morning." The portion of the CD-ROM devoted to that century provides information on topics such as Martin Luther's musical background, the overall musical scene at the time, the composers' theological emphases and much more.

Each subsequent CD follows the same format and coordinates with the respective section of the CD-ROM, which features visuals such as maps, paintings, drawings, photographs and musical scores. These create a kaleidoscope of colorful images that help to construct an expansive picture of each century. The CD-ROM is truly interactive, allowing viewers to choose how much time to spend on one topic, to pause or go ahead (or back).

This unique resource allows comparison and contrast of progressive historical developments — from chant to chorale to music influenced by opera and symphony to that reflecting ethnic diversity.

Copyright limits allowed Thrivent to produce only 25,000 sets. In addition to congregations, all Lutheran educational institutions received copies; some make the resource available through their libraries. Thrivent has no more copies available.


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