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Music in American Religious Experience$
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Philip V. Bohlman, Edith Blumhofer, and Maria Chow

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195173048

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195173048.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 28 January 2022

 Singing from the Right Songbook

 Singing from the Right Songbook

Ethnic Identity and Language Transformation in German American Hymnals

(p.175) 7 Singing from the Right Songbook
Music in American Religious Experience

Otto Holzapfel

Oxford University Press

German-language hymns and hymnals played a foundational role in American Protestant life, providing historical counterpoint to the English Protestant traditions. By the eve of World War I, nonetheless, English-language hymns had largely supplanted German originals, or had been introduced because of their great relevance to the American religious experience of ethnic Germans and followers of Lutheran and Reformed Protestantism. This chapter traces the transformation in language and tradition, assigning agency to immigrant and ethnic Germans who used hymnody as a medium for adapting to American culture. Specific compilers and publishers, such as Heinrich Melchior Mühlenberg and C. F. W. Walther, are compared, as are denominational distinctions, such as those between Missouri Synod Lutherans and the Pennsylvania Germans.

Keywords:   hymns, immigrant, Lutheran Missouri Synod, Heinrich Melchoir Mühlenberg, Pennsylvania Germans, Reformed Protestantism, C. F. W. Walther

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