The Moravian Music Of Christian Gregor (1723-1801): His Anthems, Arias, Duets, And Chorales (germany)

Date of Award




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


Music Literature


Christian Gregor was a prolific eighteenth-century Moravian composer and hymnist. In addition to his musical contributions, he was an able liturgist and a revered pastor. He lived most of his adult life in and around Herrnhut, Saxony (now in East Germany), the headquarters of the eighteenth-century Moravian Church. Gregor, as one of the first of his faith to compose music for the worhsip service, helped to establish the patterns and forms of ecclesiastical composition which were later developed and refined by other Moravian composers. So great was his influence on the Moravian church and its music that the Moravians claim him to be the "Father of Moravian Music."This study of Gregor deals specifically with his anthems, arias, and duets as contained in the Herbst Collection and the Salem Congregation Music, plus the Gregor chorales in his 1784 edition of Choral-Buch, enthaltend alle zu dem Gesangbuche der Evangilischen Bruder-Gemeinen vom Jahre 1778 gehorige Melodien (Leipzig: Breitkopfischen Buchdruckerey). This music is all housed in the Moravian Music Foundation in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. All the Gregor music related to this study, except the chorales, is in manuscript form. The chorales are found in published chorale books of the Moravian church.Over seven hundred Gregor manuscripts of anthems, arias, and duets were examined. Many of these works duplicate others found in the collections: after cross-referencing the Gregor works between and among the Herbst and Salem Congregation Collections, 213 individual categories of Gregor compositions were identified. The works examined in these collections are representative of Gregor's works in Herrnhut and elsewhere.Gregor's 1784 Choral-Buch, which was a musical companion to his 1778 Gesangbuch zum Gebrauch der evangelischen Brudergemeinen (Barby, Germany), contains 261 melody classes and 469 chorale melodies, more than 60 of which were probably written by Gregor. All the chorales are notated in two parts: soprano and figured bass. The 1784 Choral-Buch and the 1778 Gesangbuch became the foundations for the hymnody of the Moravian church around the world.Gregor, as one of the most flexible and influential Moravians of his time, served his church as organist, music director, teacher, composer, hymnist, liturgist, pastor, Elder, and Bishop. He helped develop many of the distinct Moravian musical traditions.



Link to Full Text


Link to Full Text