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The lay musicians who worked in the Protestant churches after the Reformation were referred to as adjuvants (from the Latin adjuvare, “to support”) . In the cities they strengthened the student choirs led by the cantor . Above all in Saxony and Thuringia , the choirs and instrumental groups made up of adjuvants became particularly important in the musical life of rural regions. They are comparable to today's church and trumpet choirs and can - with some reservations - be called their forerunners.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, auxiliary teachers were sometimes referred to as adjuvants.

In central Germany in particular, even in the smallest villages, there were choirs whose members were called adjuvants. As a rule it was boys and men. B. Michael Altenburg in his compositions also with a "maiden choir".

The Erfurt music researcher Helga Brück found the statement in an Erfurt newspaper after 1800: "Thuringia was the cradle of German music". Sources that prove the adjuvant tradition are u. a. the Udestedt Adjuvantenchronik , which reaches from around 1660 to after 1750, church books, lists of communicants and other documents from the Erfurt area. Even before 1600 there was therefore a rich heyday of church music.

Investigations for the village of Udestedt near Erfurt for the period from before 1600 to after 1730 showed that about ten percent of the male population were able to sing sheet music and play a string or wind instrument, so that different church music could be played every Sunday. This corresponded to the possibilities of the large city churches. These skills were also used in social gatherings. The repertoire was in no way inferior to that used in cities.

Composers also emerged from the ranks of adjuvants. The musical practice evidently led to the fact that some adjuvants were able to write down what was heard or sung from memory in the score. However, mistakes in the voice guidance were often noted.

Research to date shows the occurrence of this musically unique phenomenon in the area of ​​Erfurt with its 80 villages. The same practice must have spread early in the Gotha region . In the east, in Electoral Saxony , however, it could not be proven. How u. a. from the research of Konrad Küster results, there were also in the area of the North Sea coast a similar use of adjuvants in church music. The Land Hadeln in the Duchy of Lauenburg and Dithmarschen in the Duchy of Schleswig should be mentioned here.

In Goldbach , the Adjuvantenarchiv kept, among other things, a complete year of cantatas by Georg Philipp Telemann from the possession of the cantor Johann Georg Metz in Tambach , which the parish of Goldbach had bought in 1746/47. Since 2012, the music inventory of the Adjuvantenarchiv Goldbach has been kept and indexed by the University Archive of the Liszt School of Music Weimar .

In Transylvania there were still up in the 1980s in every village with Saxon , mostly Protestant population a brass band, called adjuvants. These accompanied church celebrations, as well as the mourners to the cemetery, at funerals. The adjuvants also played for social entertainment, at regularly held festivals, such as. B. to the crown festival to Peter and Paul , to the Rinnenfest in Schönau , but also at weddings and at neighborhood meetings .


  • Erich Böhme: From our adjuvant choirs . In: Heimatkalender für Eckartsberga , 1930, pp. 74–79 u. 1931, pp. 41-49
  • Konrad Küster: "Wol-determined Musica ... according to David's manner and usage". An Altenbruch sermon from 1653 as the key to northern German musical culture . In: Stader Jahrbuch , 2007, Stader Archive (NF 97), pp. 55–92
  • Wolfgang Stolze: Village music culture in Thuringia and its special position in music history . In: Musik und Kirche , 61, 1991, pp. 213-226, ISSN  0027-4771
  • Wolfgang Stolze: Thuringian Adjuvantenmusik in Udestedt and its neighboring towns . In: Sömmerdaer Heimathefte , 12, 2000, p. 21
  • Hans Rudolf Jung: Thematic catalog of the Großfahner music collection, Eschenbergen in Thuringia [today in the Thuringian State Music Archive Weimar]. Bärenreiter-Verlag, Kassel u. a. 2001, ISBN 3-7618-1573-5 .
  • Steffen Voss : The music collection in the parish archive Udestedt [today in the Thuringian State Music Archive Weimar] (= writings on Central German music history 10). Schneverdingen 2006, ISBN 978-3-88979-095-8 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Helga Brück: Viva la musica in Erfordia: 1818–1968 Erfurt Music Association and Singing Academy . Publishing house Thuringia, Erfurt 1992, ISBN 3-86087-104-8 , p. 6
  2. ^ Thuringian State Music Archive , accessed on June 26, 2017
  3. ^ Transylvanian newspaper