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Joseph Mohr

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Mohr, JOSEPH, b. at Siegburg, Rhine Province, January 11, 1834; d. at Munich, February 7, 1892. Father Mohr did more than any other within the last century towards restoring to general use, especially in German-speaking countries, those virile melodies and texts sung in the vernacular by the people prior to the Reformation some dating from the twelfth century which had been displaced by a sentimental class of hymns more in keeping with modern taste. While at first Father Mohr stood practically alone in the pioneer work of research, he later found powerful assistance in the labors of Rev. Dr. Wm. Baumker and Rev. Guido Maria Dreves, at that time a Jesuit, both of whom became famous specialists in this field. Among his many works may be mentioned: “Lasset uns beten”; “Treatise on Psalmody”; “Cacilia”, a hymnbook and prayer. book; “Cantate”, a hymn and prayerbook; “Psalmi Officii hebdomadie sanctie”; “Vesperbuchlein”; “Laudate Dominum”, a hymnbook and prayerbook intended more especially for institutions of higher education; “Manuale Cantorum”, and “Psalterlein”, a hymnbook and prayerbook. Most of these collections—model hymnbooks as well as prayerbooks—have had large circulations; the “Cantate” has had forty-two editions, and the thirty-third edition of the collection, “Cacilia”, has recently appeared. Several of Father Mohr’s collections became the official hymnbooks of certain dioceses; others served as the basis for the compilation of official diocesan hymnbooks. Mohr had the gift, rare at the present time, of writing genuine hymn tunes, some of which are in his collections.

JOSEPH OTTEN


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