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More Light on Masonic Music
Some Letters from Our Research Contributors


Square & Compasses Engraved in Stone

***A New Masonic Radio Station***
This is contributed by Bro Neil Neddermeyer

New Jersey Masons have a Masonic radio station broadcasting over the web.

They feature favorite Masonic composers on a continuous 24 hours a day, 7 days per week basis. The program selection presently broadcasting is: Great Music by Great Masons (A Celebration of Brotherhood) Sousa, Beethoven, Handel, Mozart, Sibelius, Irving Berlin

Entire Program Time: 60 minutes

Must have a 56K Modem, Direct or Cable Connection, and RealPlayer 7 or Other

MP3 Capable Streaming Player

Directions: 1. Select the link below.
2. A small window will open after arriving at the station
3. If you do not hear the station after about a minute, go to Step 4 and continue; otherwise Step 9
4. Close the small window and select the Internet Connection Speed
5. In the Search Box Type: kerplunkin
6. There is an approximate 1 to 2 minute delay between selections
7. You may need to select the HeadPhone Icon to hear the next selection
8. ENJOY!!!!M
9. GO TO NJMASONS Radio:

http://www.live365.com/cgi-bin/directory.cgi?autostart=kerplunkin

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My heartiest compliments on your Masonic Music site. I have added a link to it on my Comprehensive List page, which is located at:
http://www.cacr.caltech.edu/~rfire/masonry/comprehensive_list.html

I am myself a composer of Masonic (and other) music. The Dawson Masonic March has been used a couple of times in DC for Grand Visitations and will receive its public premiere this coming year by the Vienna Community Band. I wish I could find a publisher... (I was Master of Dawson #16, now consolidated to form National-Stansbury-Dawson #12, in 1996; it is one of the two Lodges in DC to which John Philip Sousa belonged--Hiram #10, now Hiram-Takoma #10, is the other. He never wrote a march for the Lodge, so I did.)

You can find a listing of my compositions and arrangements (for wind quintet and for band) at:

http://www.cacr.caltech.edu/~rfire/music_list.html

I also give a talk in Lodge (or out of it--it's not esoteric) on "Music for Masonry," in which I discuss what forms of music are suitable for Lodge use (i.e., what I myself play).

"Solemn strikes the funeral chime..." is properly known as Pleyel's Hymn. It may be found (with different words) in many hymnals of Protestant denominations (but not Baptist, it seems). I wouldn't call it "Apprentice Song," though; it is used only in the MM Lodge (and often in the Scottish Rite Secret Master degree). I also wouldn't call "Onward Christian Soldiers" a _York Rite_ anthem; its use would be inappropriate in the Chapter or Council (but it would be OK for the Commandery). (Likewise some of the others you have listed--they are quite explicitly Christian and not appropriate for Lodge use. There are some very good hymns for Lodge use which are non-sectarian: "O Worship the King" (Michael Haydn), "O God Our Help in Ages Past," "Abide With Me," "Patriots' Prayer" (Finlandia, by Sibelius), "Shall We Gather at the River?", "God of Our Fathers," and some others which don't come to mind at the moment.

The most appropriate Mozart for Lodge use, I believe, is "Zum Ziele Fuehrt Dich Diese Bahn," the finale to Act I of _The Magic Flute_. It is sung as Tamino enters the Temple of Wisdom, which is exactly appropriate to the candidate's entrance in each degree.

For the candidate's return to the preparing room, I use "Chant du Depart" by Etienne Mehul. I have not been able to determine whether Mehul was a Mason, though. The "Chant du Depart" is sometimes called "the second Marseillaise" (and you note that Rouget de Lisle was a Mason).

I play the flute (and occasionally piccolo) with the Vienna Community Band and Concordia German Band. I am going to provide your list of Masonic march composers to the director for his edification... We've played some of those marches.

Are you aware of the "unknown" Sousa march recently rediscovered? The title is "Foshay Tower Washington Memorial" march, and may be considered Masonic in its reference to the Memorial, which the Foshay Tower is said to resemble. The march was not played at the Foshay Tower dedication, my father tells me, because the developer went bankrupt and didn't pay Sousa his commission. (The Foshay Tower used to be the tallest building in Minneapolis, before they built the new stone forest there; we St. Paulites claimed that our First Natl. Bank building was five feet taller, though, but I don't know what the truth was. Mpls. is now many stories ahead of St. Paul and likely to remain so.)

Here's a Masonic composer you left off your list: Friedrich der Grosse, Koenig von Preussen (Frederick the Great, King of Prussia). And he was a _great_ composer--listen to some of his works (they are available on CD) and see if you don't think he is in the same league as the tier below Haydn and Mozart (i.e., Stamitz, Cimarosa, et al). As a flutist, I cannot let "Big Fred" go without a mention. (Just name _one_ other absolute monarch whose artistic contributions are recognized today! OK, Marcus Aurelius' "Meditations." And King Solomon wrote parts of the Bible, while David wrote the Psalms, or some of them.)

Should Burl Ives be listed, or was he only a performer, not a composer? (Did Gene Autry compose, or did he only sing and play guitar?)

Around Washington, DC, one cannot omit from a list of Masonic composers the name of Bennie Breeskin (who wrote "Hail to the Redskins")...

If you care to link from your page to mine, please use the address:

a href="http://www.cacr.caltech.edu/~rfire/masonry/
for the link.

Roger M. Firestone, 33º, Musician/Lodge Educ. Ofcr., Henry Lodge #57, AF&AM of VA, Fairfax

[Editor's Note: Most of the constructive criticism in this letter has resulted in improvements in this website for which Dr. Firestone is due credit and thanks!]

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Hello. I just visited your Masonic music web page, and found it very well produced.
I have 3 CD's of Masonic music. Two are only of Mozart, but the third has several other composers as well. The CD is titled Musiques Rituelles Maconniques Au XVIIIe Siecle (Ritual Music of the XVIIIth Century Freemasons). In addition to Mozart it has the following composers and compositions.

Francois Giroust (1738-1799)
Rituel Maconnique Funebre also known as The Deluge

Ludwig Von Beethoven (1770-1827)
Marche Maconnique
Opferlied

Friedrich-Heinrich Himmel (1779-1814)
Maurerlied (in honor of the Frederic III King of Prussia)

Henri-Josph Taskin (1779-1852)
Marche Maconnique Funebre

The recording is from France and was released under the auspices of the Grande Loge de France and was recorded by Roger Cotte a "high level Freemason" who now belongs to a Lodge under the Grand Lodge of Sao Paulo, Brazil. The booklet that came with the CD is very interesting.

Although not Masonic I also have a CD of Early American Music which has music believed to be written by Bro. Benjamin Franklin.

Regards,
Richard Lozins
Oriental Lodge #33 AF&AM
Chicago IL GL of IL

[Ed.: Brother Franklin is also credited as a composer for the glass harmonica, by no lesser authority than "The Today Show" on NBC!]

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Grand Lodge Seal Yugoslavia
Seal of The Most Worshipful Regular Grand Lodge "YUGOSLAVIA"

One of the best Serbian composers is Stevan Mokranjac (1856-1914). He wrote compositions for choir, two kinds: 1. Rukoveti, a type of choir--svita, and 2. Church music. He made his compositions based on folk music.

S. Mokranjac was mason but we don't know a lot about his work on this field, especially, did he make compositions connected with the masonry? In near future we will seek facts about it, and if we find them, we shall make a paper about it.

Dimitrije Golemovic

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Thought you might like to add to the site that the RWGLofPA uses "God of Our Fathers" at the opening of GL and it is very appropriate. The MWPHGLofPA uses "We're Marching to Zion" and "Jesus the Light of the World"; last year my lodge had a tenor and organist do the "Pilgrim's Chorus" from "Tannhauser", ending on a minor, somber note, to complete our Memorial Service -first time THAT has been used in the lodge, but it went over very well, at least when sung in English!

Bro Brian Fegely PM
Montgomery [formerly "Military"] Lodge #19
Philadelphia
RWGLofPA

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I came upon the following articles which look interesting and include names of 'musicians' which are foreign to me but may be of interest to you.

Music and Masonry, by Norman Demuth. Transactions of Sussex Masters Lodge #3672, 1958-59. 10 pages.

Masonic Composers and their Music, by David J. Roads. Grand Lodge of Scotland Year Book, 1991. 16 pages. (Deals mostly with well known composers but lists Boildieu, Franz Abe, J. N. Hummel, H.C.Litolff, G.A. Lortzing, C.D. Loewe, William Peeper, Speyer, Spohr, Ole Bull, Boito, are listed as Masonic friends of Beethoven.)

A Masonic Musical Miscellanea, by Sydney W, Pierce. Chater-Cosmo Transactions. 1979. 9 pp.

Masonic Composers and Their Music, by David J. Roads. Chater-Cosmo Transactions.1987. 19 pp

Fraternally and sincerely,

Harold Davidson
Billings Masonic Library

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I have also used the following Opening Ode which seemed very beautiful and meaningful when heard in several Lodges in the Oxford, England area as well as Switzerland (??).

Hail Eternal! by whose aid
All created things were made:
Heav'n and earth Thy vast design;
Hear us, Architect Divine!

May our work; begun in Thee,
Ever blest with order be,
And may we, when labours cease,
Part in harmony and peace.

By Thy glorious Majesty,
By the trust we place in Thee,
By the badge and mystic sign,
Hear us, Architect Divine!

The words and music are in a volume "Masonic Lodge and Chapter Music" which was published in England by Lewis (ISBN 0 85318 105 5), printed by Ian Allan, and at one time carried here in the US by Macoy.

Robert H. Sherman, MPS
Past Master, Pajarito Lodge #66, GL of New Mexico
Past DDGM
rhsnm@att.net
also see: http://home.att.net/~oesnm

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In Missouri, we sing the last verse of "My Country Tis of Thee" as the closing hymn.

Chris Harris, Liberty Lodge #31, Liberty, Missouri

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There is, or was a publication called :'FUN AMONG THE MASONS ' It was published by W.Bro. George M. Martin of 31 South Tay Street, Dundee,Scotland in 1931. The printers were C.Tinling &Co, then of Liverpool,London and Prescot. It was published to raise funds for the Dundee Temple and Institute. This book I found to be both very humerous and historical. It includes libretto for some Masonic songs which are now defunct as they date from around 1720 -1835.

If you can find a copy, it would, in my humble opinion prove to be a very enlightening reference for you in your worthwhile quest. I managed to borrow a copy some years ago and was most impressed by it.

You may try someone who deals in out of date books or a professional bookfinder.

Wishing you the best of luck, I remain

Yours fraternally

Stewart J. McBride.


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