Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (portrait posthume par Barbara Krafft 1819)





This Short Talk Bulletin has been adapted from a

paper, "The Sixth Liberal Art," prepared by the late

Worshipful Brother Fred W. Mindermann, Past

Master of Granite Lodge No. 119 of Haddam,  Con-

necticut, for Masonic Research Lodge No. 104,

F. & A.M., of Atlanta, Georgia in 1970. It is

presented at this time because of the number of re-

cent inquires M.S.A. has received pertaining to



Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in

Salzburg in 1756 and died in Vienna in 1791 at

the age of thirty-five. As a child he was known

as a prodigy and genius for among his ac-

complishments he played the piano at three,

composed a concerto at five, made his first con-

cert tour of Europe at six, had his first four

violin sonatas published at eight, had his first

symphonies played in London at nine, and at

fourteen he had written two comic operas and

one opera seria. Mozart is recognized as the

greatest melodic genius of his time and was a

composer whose wide range of works included

symphonies, sonatas, masses, concertos,

chamber music, piano music, and operas

among which are "Don Giovanni" and "The

Magic Flute." He is remembered as a composer

whose music culminated much of what had

gone on before and led the way for some that

was to follow. In addition, he was a genius in

all areas of musical composition, a complete

master of form, and a master in expressing

human emotions and spiritual feelings.

When only thirteen years of age, he was

made concert master to the Archbishop

Schwatenbach of Salzburg, who recognized his

genius and encouraged his triumphal tour of

Europe, where great honors were heaped upon

him. The churches and theaters where he per-

formed were filled to overflowing.

The Archbishop's successor, von Col-

lorado, was a man of a different stripe. Unar-

tistic, unappreciative, disapproved of those

tours, and even refused permission to leave

Salzburg. Mozart resigned in 1772, returned to

the service of the Archbishop von Collorado in

1778, and in 1779 was made Court Organist.

However, his relations with the Archbishop in-

creasingly worsened, and finally he left

Salzburg for good and settled in Vienna. A

possible reference to his break with Roman

Catholicism and his belief that the highest

possible human happiness could be attained in

a society governed by brotherly love, friend-

ship, beauty, and wisdom is expressed in the

following excerpt from his "Little German



"Oh break the fetters of this folly,

Oh tear this blinding prejudicial veil,

Take off the former robe, which long has

Rendered mankind sectarian."


and another excerpt from the "Little Masonic Cantata:"

"Loudly herald our great gladness,

joyous instrumental sound,

Let the echoes of these pillars in

each Brother's heart abound!

For we dedicate this station by our

golden chain of Brothers,

And the truest bond of hearts,

that it shall our temple be."


In 1784 Mozart joined the Lodge "True

Harmony of Spirits" and later the Lodge

"Charity" and finally the Lodge "New Crown-

ed Hope." The impressions he received were so

profound and significant that on the 6th of

April in 1785, his father, Leopold Mozart,

when on a visit to Vienna, became a member of

his son's Lodge, "New Crowned Hope." The

song called "Gesellenreise" (Fellowcraft's

Journey) was composed at the occasion of the

father being passed to the Fellowcraft Degree.

See the Masonic significance of the Iyrics:


"You, who now are risen higher

unto Wisdom's high abode,

Wander steadfast higher, higher,

Know, it is the noblest road.

Only spirit without blight

May approach the source of Light."


Of all Masonic composers, Mozart appears

to be the one who has written the most on all

types of Masonic subjects. Included here is

music for the actual ritual ceremony, music

dedicated to the establishment of Lodges,

music depicting personal feelings of the

Brotherhood and its meaning, and the Masonic

music for his father mentioned in the previous


"Oh You, Our New Leaders" was a song

written for the installation of the officers of a

newly constituted Lodge and was sung at the

closing of the ceremonies. The text of the Lyrics

illustrates clearly the significance of the occa-



"Oh you our new leaders,

We thank you now for all your faith.

Oh lead us ever on paths of virtue,

That all rejoice in the chain that ties us,

The chain that ties us unto better men

And giveth sweetness to life's chalice,

Gives sweetness to the cup of life.


"And on the rungs of truth

Let us approach the throne of Wisdom,

That we may reach its holiness,

And that we of her crown may be worthy,

Of we with Charity drive out

The jealousy of the profane.




"The holy adjuration we also vow:

To strive for perfection of our great temple,

To strive for perfection of our building great,

To strive for perfection of the temple, like you."


One of Mozart's noteworthy Masonic com-

positions was his Masonic Funeral Music writ-

ten on the death of the distinguished

Freemason, Duke Georg August of

Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Count Franz

Esterhazy, and played for the first time on 17th

November, 1785, in the Lodge 'Zur

neugekroenten Hoffnung" (New Crowned

Hope). It is felt that the underlying melody pro-

bably stems from "The Lamentations of

Jeremiah," a very ancient melody found in

Hebrew ritual.

No doubt one of the greatest Masonic works

ever written is Mozart's "The Magic Flute." It

was first performed in Vienna in 1791. Written

at age 35 shortly before his death, it is a com-

bination of simple German folk tunes and

classic operatic writing. The plot is one of

political satire set against an Egyptian

background. It is said that this is the swan song

of Austrian Freemasonry, for in 1791 Kaiser

Leopold prohibited Freemasonry in Austria.

Thus the opera is written as an apology and a

confession of fidelity for Freemasonry, as a last

farewell to the Mason's ideals of freedom and


Since it would be literally impossible for us

to analyze the complete Magic Flute for you at

this time, we have selected one of the most

popular arias which I am sure you can associate

with Masonic ritual. Behind this aria, "Oh Isis

and Osiris" lies the following story:

Sorastro addresses the priests in tones of

utmost solemnity, telling them of the

young initiate who waits at the North Gate

seeking to throw off the veil of Night and

enter into the realm of Light. He assures

them of Tomino's ample specifications

and promises that if the youth dies in the

course of his initiation he will speed to the

courts of Isis and Osiris, there to enjoy

divine bliss. As the Orator-Priest and one

of his colleagues go to conduct Tomino

within, Sorastro and the rest sing a solemn

prayer to their tutelary dieties.


"Oh Isis and Osiris, Favor

This noble pair with Wisdom's light!

Grant them your aid in their endeavor,

Lead them to find the path of right !

Let them be strong against temptation,

But if they fail in their probation,

Do not their virtue need deny,

Take them to your abode on high."


It is interesting to note here that the melody

of this song is one that is found in the initiation

rites of a popular American Music fraternity.

Masons in Europe, and especially in

Austria, hold the memory of Brother Mozart in

greatest reverence. The foremost Masonic

Research Lodge in Vienna is the "Soroastro

Club," taking the name from the principal

character in "The Magic Flute," the High

Priest of the Temple of Isis. Truly "To live in

the hearts of those we leave behind is not to

die. "




I "Mozart & Masonry" Dr. Paul Nettl

2 "Music & Masonry" Dr. Paul Nettl

3. "The Music" Pietro Berrl

4. "Famous Masons & Masonic Presidents"

H.L. Haywood

5. "Freemasonry & The Creative Arts"

Dr. Herman B. Wells

(The Indiana Freemason-March, 1968)

6. " Brother Wolfgang Mozart, Master

Mason, and The Magic Flute" Wm. C.

Blaine (The New Age- June, 1968)

7. A.Q.C. Vol. 4, 1891, "Masonic Musicians"

Dr. W.A. Barrett

8. A.Q.C. Vol. 16, 1903, "Philo Musicians of

Architecturos Societas Apollini"

R.F. Gould

9. A.Q.C. Vol. 26, 1913, "Brother Mozart

and Some of His Masonic Friends"

Herbert Brodley

10. A.Q.C. Vol. 40, 1927, "Masonic Songs and

Verses of the 18th Century" H. Poole

11. A.Q.C. Vol. 65, 1952, "Masonic Songs and

Verses Books of the Late 18th Century"

A. Sharp

12. A.Q.C. Vol. 69, 1956, "Mozart's Masonic

Music" A. Sharp

13. A.Q.C. Vol. 69, 1956, "Mozart and his

Contemporaries" E. Winterburgh

14. A.Q.C. Vol. 75, 1962, "Sibelius' Masonic

Ritual Music" A. Sharp

15. M.S.A. Short Talk Bulletin, Vol. 19, No. 8,

"Small Songs"

16. M.S.A. Short Talk Bulletin, Vol. 24, No. 9

"Great Songs"

17. M.S.A. Short Talk Bulletin, Vol. 25, No. 9,

"Masonry & Music"

Another Source


by Robert G. Davis 74244,3704


The period of history which encompassed the Baroque, the Rococco, and the
Viennese Classical schools of music can be described as the Enlightenment Era.
In my thinking, this roughly spanned the 200 years of the 17th and 18th Centuries.

It was a period of great contributions in the arts. To give some examples, in its
early stages it was characterized by the Dutch school of painting, headed by
Rembrandt and Vermeer; the French artists Poussin and
Lebrun; the architect Christopher Wren; the writers Moliere, Racine, Milton,
Shakespeare, and Bacon; the composers Corelli, Vivaldi, Scarlatti, Pachabel,
Albinoni, Handel and Bach; the poets Goethe and Burns; the philosophers Kant,
Voltaire, Rousseau, and Diderot. And it ended with such musicians as Gluck,
C.P.E. Bach, J.C. Bach, Haydn, Mozart, Boccherini, Beethoven, and Schubert.

It was a period which gave us the sonata, the suite, the rondeau (rondo), the
fugue, the concerto, the opera, the cantata, the art of improvisation, the
application of tonal rivalries between solo instruments, etc. It was a period
of enormous output, both in variation of composition and in virtuosity of

It was also a period of fertile growth in Masonic philosophy and ritual. And
it was the time when much music was composed for the fraternity. During his
brief 7 years as a Mason (1784-1791), Brother Mozart brought his unsurpassed
gift of creativity and virtuosity to the fraternity in a series of
compositions which are still universally played and used in today's
ceremonies of Masonry. The spirit of the Enlightenment shines throught
Mozart's music, and this is nowhere as true, perhaps, as in his Masonic

That music falls into three broad categories--music he wrote specifically for
the lodge, music intended for the public built on Masonic ideas, and music he
wrote for other purposes, but which were adapted during his lifetime, either
by himself or others, for use in lodge. Lodges frequently held concerts for
charity, and Mozart wrote much music to be performed at those concerts.

As for the music Mozart wrote for use in lodge, the most obvious question to
a non-Mason might be why music would be needed at all. The Masonic ritual
makes many provsions for music. The process of walking from one place to
another in the lodge room was and is often accompanied by music. Many such
"trips about the lodge" represent the passage of time, and in those cases,
music was especially appropriate. Music was also used before and after
prayer, and for entrances into the lodge. In England, it is still common to
sing the "closing ode" at the end of a lodge meeting.

The Blue Lodge of Freemasonry (the original and
foundation of all other presently-practiced systems of the
Fraternity) is divided into three Degrees, or stages of
membership--the Entered Apprentice Degree, the Fellow Craft
Degree, and the Master Mason Degree.

The Fellow Craft Degree is important in the story of Mozart's Masonic music
because he wrote one of his most beautiful Masonic works, Gesellenreise
(Fellow Craft's Journey) for the initiation of his father, Leopold Mozart, on
April 16, 1785.

To fully appreciate the music, it is helpful to know a little about the
degree itself, and about the Masonic histories of both Leopold and Wolfgang.

The Fellow Craft Degree represents, in terms of the stonemason's craft, the
status of Journeyman. In terms of Freemasonry, it represents manhood in its
full vigor and strength, as the first Degree represents youth and the third
Degree represents the wisdom and maturity of age.

The ritual of the Fellow Craft Degree takes classical education as one of its
strongest symbols. The Mason receiving the Degree is reminded of the five
classic Orders of Architecture, as well as the seven Liberal Arts and
Sciences--Grammar, Rhetoric, Logic, Arithmetic, Geometry, Music and

The instruction in the ritual takes the form of the
ascent of winding stairs, with each step representing a new
acquisition of knowledge and insight. That ascent is the
Fellow Craft's journey.

It symbolizes more than mere instruction, however. The journey is the journey
of life, which at this stage is a preparation for productive living as a
spiritual being. Its purpose is to help awaken the individual to his life not
just as an intelligent animal but as a mind--free and untrammeled--and as a
spirit, bound to all humanity by the Fatherhood of God.  The lyrics selected
by Mozart for Gesellenreise include:
        You, who now are risen higher
        Unto Wisdom's high abode,
        Wander steadfast higher, higher
        Know, it is the noblest road.
        Only spirit without blight
        May approach the source of Light.

Even in this short passage, you can see the elements of the Enlightenment and
of Masonry--the idea that both life and initiation was a journey of stages,
the idea of Light, and of drawing nearer to it. The search for wisdom and

In the introduction to his book Mozart and Masonry Paul Nettl writes,
". . . there is a Masonic secret, a mystery, an experience
that cannot be taught or explained because it lies, like
every mystic experience, beyond the realm of controlled
consciousness. At its deepest level it is identical with
intense feeling and empathy. The secret of Freemasonry is
the secret of experiencing true love for all mankind, a
positive attitude towards man and life, and broad
affirmation of God. It is the realization that beyond the
dark and material world there is a realm of light towards
which all men must strive."

It is this journey, this secret, which Mozart
celebrated in music for his father.

Wolfgang Mozart was apparently sponsored in his petition to join Masonry by
the Baron Otto Freiherr von Gemmingen-Hornberg, Master of Zur Wohltataigkeit
(Charity) Lodge. Mozart had met Gemmingen in Mannheim. His name was put
before the Lodge on December 5, 1784, and he appears to have received the
Entered Apprentice Degree on December 14. On January 7, 1785, he re ceived
the Fellow Craft Degree at
"Zur wahren Eintracht" (True Harmony) Lodge at the request of his home Lodge.

On April 22, he received the Master Mason Degree.

But Jacques Chailley, in The Magic Flute Unveiled: Esoteric
Symbolism in Mozart's Masonic Opera, points out that
Mozart's association with Freemasonry long predated his
petition to the Fraternity. At the age of 11, Mozart set the
Masonic poem An die Freude to music and sent it as a gift to
Dr. Joseph Wolf who had treated him for smallpox. At 16, he
composed an aria on the words of the ritual hymn O heiliges
Band. At 17, he was selected by Gebler to compose the
incidental music for the Masonic drama Thamos (which he
revised in 1779).

Leopold Mozart, it was announced in Wolfgang's Lodge on March 28, 1785, had
been proposed for membership. As Leopold was about to leave the city, a
dispensation to proceed more rapidly than usual was sought and obtained.
April 6, he was initiated as an Entered Apprentice. On April 16, he was
passed to the Degree of Fellow Craft, with Wolfgang in attendance. On April
22, Leopold became a Master Mason. Two days later, father and son attended
the Lodge Zur gerkronten Hoffnung to honor the Lodge's Master, Ignaz Born.
Wolfgang composed a new cantata for the occasion (K.471). The day after the
concert, Leopold left for Salzburg. His son was never to see him again.

Mozart's Masonic Music is rich and varied, but any listing is subject to
criticism. The simple reason is that music played a very important part in
Masonry. Music was used in the Degrees, performed at refreshment as
entertainment (which would have been an experience--Mozart's Lodge contained
some of the finest performers in Europe, and we know from minutes of the
Lodge meetings that they often sat around after Lodge had formally closed and
improvised into the small hours ofthe morning) and at special public
concerts, frequently given by the Lodges for charitable purposes. So we have
Masonic ritual music, music written for or adapted for entertainment at
Masonic functions, and music on Masonic themes, not intended for performance
in Lodge, some of which as we have seen, was written before he joined the
fraternity. The following listing (based on the work of Charles Tupper)
contains elements of all these, with notes showing their Masonic relevance.

Lied: An die Freude, K.53 (setting of a Masonic text)

Psalm 129: De Profundis Clamavi for mixed choir and orchestra K.93 (composed
in Salzburg in 1771 and later adapted to Freemasonic work by the composer)

Lied: O heiliges Band der Freudschaft for tenor and Piano K.148 (composed in
1772 and adopted for Masonry; probably sung at refreshment)

Graduale ad Festum B.M.V.: "Sancta Maria, mater Die for mixed choir and
orchestra K.273 (composed in 1777, it
was immediately added to the musical canon of the Lodge)

Incidental Music: Thamos Konig in Agypten, K.345 (incidental music for a
play, the themes are heavily Masonic - considered a forerunner of The Magic

Canonic Adagio for 2 bassett Horns and Bassoon, K.410 (composed in 1784,
ritual procession music)

Adagio for 2 Clarinets and 3 Bassett Horns, K.411 (probably intended as a
processional entrance for the Lodge)

Cantata: "Dir, Seele des Weltalls," K.429 (composed for a public Masonic

Gesellenreise: "Die ihr einem neuen Grade," K.468 (composed for his father's
Fellow Craft Degree)

Cantata: Die Maurerfreude "Sehen wie dem starren Forscherauge," K.471
(composed in April, 1785, to honor Ignaz von Born, Grand Master of the United

[According to the records of the Lodge, Mozart wrote the music for two
additional songs during 1785--Des Todes Werk and Vollbracht ist die Arbeit
der Meister (The Work of Death and The Work of the Masters is
Finished)--which have been lost]

Maurerissche Trauermusik (Masonic Funeral Music) K.477 (written for the
memorial services commemorating the deaths of Mozart's brother Masons Duke
George August of Mecklenburg-Strelitz and Count Franz Veith Edler von
Galantha in November, 1785, and performed in a Lodge of Sorrows)

Piano Concerto in Eb Major, K.482 (written for and performed at a concert
given by the Lodge Zur gekronten Hoffnung, December 15, 1785)

Song: Zerfliesset Heut, Geliebte Bruder," K.483 (written to
welcome newly-formed Lodges)

Song: "Ihr unsre neuen Leiter," K.484 (written to welcome the newly elected
Grand Master of the United Lodges)

Symphony #39 in Eb, K.543 (written as a celebration of the Craft and the joy
of living {see Alfred Einstein's notes on the Masonic significance of the

Adagio and Fugue in C Minor, K.546 (not originally written for the Masonic
canon, it was quickly adopted by the Lodges)

Adagio and Rondo for Flute, Oboe, Viola, Cello, and Celesta, K.617 (written
while Mozart was working on The Magic Flute and performed at refreshment in

Motet: Ave Verum Corpus, K.618 (originally written
for Anton Stoll's choir school at Baden, the work was
quickly adopted for Lodge use)

Cantata: "Die ihr des unermesslichen Weltalls Schopfer ehrt," K.619 (during
Mozart's last year, he paused during composition of The Magic Flute, La
Clemenza di Tito and the Requiem to compose this piece at the request of his

Cantata: "Kleine Freimaurerkantate" (little Masonic cantata) K.623 (written
for the dedication of the Lodge Zur neugekronten Hoffnung)

Chorus: "Lasst uns mit geschlungen Handen" K.623b (written as part of the
same dedication service as above)

Opera: "Die Zauberflote" (The Magic Flute) K.620

Mozart died at fifty-five minutes past midnight, on December 5, 1791. The
Masons held a Lodge of Sorrows in his memory, and the oration there delivered
was printed by Ignez Alberti, a member of Mozart's own Lodge, who had
published the first libretto of Die Zauberflote.