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Joseph Mohr

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Born at Siegburg, Rhine Province, 11 Jan., 1834; died at Munich, 7 February, 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 labours of Rev. Dr. Wm. Bäumker 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"; "Cäcilia", a hymn-book and prayer-book ; "Cantate", a hymn and prayer-book ; "Psalmi Officii hebdomadæ sanctæ"; "Vesperbüchlein"; "Laudate Dominum", a hymn-book and prayer-book intended more especially for institutions of higher education ; "Manuale Cantorum", and "Psälterlein", a hymn-book and prayer-book. Most of these collections — model hymn-books as well as prayer-books — have had large circulations; the "Cantate" has had forty-two editions, and the thirty-third edition of the collection, "Cäcilia" has recently appeared. Several of Father Mokr's collections became the official hymn-books of certain dioceses ; others served as the basis for the compilation of official diocesan hymn-books. Mohr had the gift, rare at the present time, of writing genuine hymn-tunes, some of which are in his collections.

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