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Mozart’s Attraction to Freemasonry

Freemasonry is abstract thought and meaning of the ideals of morality to educate men

that want to live a life with respectable ethical standards. As respect can be a chore to receive, or

even attain, it can be just as difficult to provide. During the Enlightenment reason and logic were

usually what gave one authority. Respect and empathy allowed the individual's voice to be heard

and it would usually be answered within those same standards. On the other hand there were also

people who weren't quite as thoughtful, or even well thought of, and some of them did have

authority. The wide, everlasting spectrum of a group, or even a single concept, can truly define a

period of time. On the spectrum of the Enlightenment freemasonry stands somewhere between

neutral and virtue, and since the Enlightenment was an era that existed primarily in Europe, and

the Americas, mainly just the western regions of the globe were concerned with it. The thoughts

and desires of the individual were what really made a difference in this Age of Enlightenment,

and it's because of those desires that brought freemasonry to existence.

It is unknown at what point in time exactly freemasonry became a practice for

intellectuals who seek a greater meaning. Some people would say that Masonic groups and

practices date back to the 16 century, or even as far back as the 14th. However, it became

prevalent in the 17th century and its popularity grew to its peak in the 18th century. Due to the

fact that religion has always been popular within every society, those that embrace the practice of

freemasonry are usually religious people; therefore it is safe to say that it can be a spiritual

practice. That does not mean that an individual is always admitted as a Mason only if he is

religious. Also, often when referring to Freemasonry, people will call it a "brotherhood," or

"fraternity," simply because at whatever the time of its origin females were not thought of as

highly as they are today and therefore weren't a part of this specific social and bureaucratic
group. It is an organization of men that can stand up for moral excellence; a way of showing

pride, and that's the way they liked it. However, freemasonry does affect both males and females,

especially when it comes to the controversial aspects of it. Some people believe that the practice

goes against certain religions, while others simply believe that it is an anti-religious practice.

Regarding the latter, its goals are in no way against any sort of religion but back in the 18th

century the practice ran into a lot of conflict with the Catholic Church.

There are three main points that reflect more upon the philosophical aspects of the

Enlightenment rather than the political ones, and they are Nature, Reason, and the brotherhood of

Man. All sorts of different kinds of people have joined the group, and a lot of them were a part of

it during its peak in history. One of these individuals was Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and

Freemasonry actually played a substantial role in his life. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born

in 1756 in Salzburg only to die a short 35 years later in 1791 while in Vienna, both cities being a

part of the Holy Roman Empire at the time. His father, Leopold, taught both Wolfgang and his

sister Maria Anna how to play the piano at very young ages. While they both grew up in a

musical household and because their father was a good teacher, they continued to follow careers

in music. However, Wolfgang was a much quicker learner when it came to music, and he

impressed his father quite a bit more than his sister had. In any case, they both played for Maria

Theresa, also an Austrian musician and Empress, in the year 1762; making Wolfgang only 6

years old. Even at a young age Wolfgang would write movements that made sense and were

theoretically correct, but didn't always sound good. As he grew older Wolfgang ended up

working for the Archbishop Colleredo of Salzburg through connections with Leopold, since he

too had been working for the Archbishop. Although that was an impressive job to have, and he

was quite successful as far as written works and talent goes, the Archbishop neglected to pay

Wolfgang fair amounts of money for events that he should have been paid greatly for. One such
event was when Wolfgang wrote a rondo for a violinist named Brunetti, a song for castrato

Ceccarelli, and a sonata piece for himself; all for a special show that the Archbishop had hosted

for the emperor. The pay for this show would have been equivalent to half of Wolfgang's usual

annual salary, but the Archbishop wouldn't release him. Wolfgang had a very close relationship

with his father, and the two would write letters to each other regarding Wolfgang's life as a

musician, and life in general. When the Archbishop didn't let Wolfgang play the show he told

Leopold that he wanted to move to Vienna where his career could be much healthier.

After a few months and letters from his father, who didn't like the idea very much,

Wolfgang moved to Vienna, where he taught and composed, and lived in a residence that

actually led him to his future fiancée. In the Weber house he got connected with Constanze; the

third daughter of the family. At first Mozart would deny his relationship and any rumors about

the two of them to his father, but they later got a lot closer and eventually married each other at

St. Stephen's Cathedral; where Franz Joseph Haydn, an inspiration and friend of Wolfgang's, was

a choir boy. Leopold wasn't too thrilled about the fact that they were together, but he was

somewhat supportive nonetheless. One of the biggest problems that Wolfgang had was that his

father was so obsessive over him, and he didn't want his son to get involved with women or

anything else but music. Mozart wanted to have a domestic life though, and so he had two kids:

in 1783 Raimund Leopold, his first son who died, and in '84 Carl Thomas Mozart.

In 1784 Mozart joined a freemason group at the Zur Wohlthatigkeit lodge. To join a

freemasonry group was a respectable thing to do at this point in history. During this time

freemasonry was a lot more open-minded than it had been when it wasn't as popular.

Freemasonry accepted all religious groups, and built an elaborate imagery from several different

sources, unifying a variety of people under the same basic principles of moral excellence and
equality. It's not much of a surprise that Mozart would join a group that is so broad and popular.

However, the idea that he joined solely because everyone else did seems rather repulsive and is a

thought that should be dismissed with the back of a hand. There are several factors in Mozart's

short, but eventful life that could lead him to join a freemasonry group.

Throughout Mozart's life he was disrespected by certain individuals, when he deserved

much better than that. For yet another example, the Archbishop Colleredo from Salzburg never

treated Wolfgang very decent at all. Even though this actually helped Mozart in a way, because it

led him to Vienna, it's still a good reason to join a group that stands against unethical ways.

Another factor that could have contributed to Mozart joining the freemasonry group is that his

father was a complete control freak. Leopold wanted to have control over Mozart's life, and he

expected Mozart to do what he wanted. This is only another good reason to become a part of a

group of people that stands up for individuality. Wolfgang was also a very intellectual being, and

no matter how bad he made his money situations, surrounding himself with other intelligent

people is clearly a logical move. Also, during the time in his life that he joined, Wolfgang's

career was actually doing very well and he was quite happy. Regardless of the fact that his first

son died a year before he still managed to be very happy during this time, and while freemasonry

has more optimistic views on life than pessimistic, it's not necessarily a bad idea to be around

other people who have the same ideals. Freemasonry was also what a lot his friends were

interested in providing a good social life for him as he did very well in the group. While joining

the group also gave Mozart more reason to compose, it was also an organization that consisted

mainly of middle-class citizens, in which case he would fit right in. The master of the first lodge

Wolfgang joined, Zur Wohlthatigkeit, was also a friend of his that he met back in 1778: Baron

von Gimmingen. Another good friend of Mozart's that was in the freemasonry group was Haydn.

The two of them were at the Zur wahren Eintracht lodge in 1785.
As Mozart progressed rapidly in freemasonry, becoming a third degree master in 1785,

part of what helped him gain his way was his musical contributions. Anton Stadler, a friend and

freemason brother of his, was a clarinetist who arranged a concert with Mozart for the 20th of

October in 1787. The concert included specific Masonic works such as two symphonies by a

fellow freemason Paul Wranitzky, a few hymns, and Mozart's cantata Die Maurerfreude K. 471.

During Mozart's first two years as a mason he composed works for special occasions such as the

cantata Dir, Seele des Weltalls K. 429, which was played at an event where even those who

weren't members were invited, and the song Gesellenreisek K. 468, which was composed for a

member that was advancing to the second degree of the practice. These works, along with others,

are considered to be Masonic music as they were intended for use in several different aspects of

the rituals that occurred, and they incorporate Masonic musical symbols. Wolfgang's most

famous work that reflects Masonic imagery is his Die Zauberflote, which was composed in 1791.

The libretto in the piece, which was actually written by freemason Emanuel Schikaneder, shows

close attention. Each trial the couples end up in depicts the different stages of Masonic initiation

and advancements. Another example of symbolism that is being used in his compositions is

Mozart's Dir, Seele des Weltalls K. 429. This is one of a few pieces that he wrote in E flat to

form the concept of the three pillars of the "Temple of Humanity," because the key of E flat has

three flats.

Due to the fact that freemasonry is still a common practice within different societies,

Mozart's music can be passed around not only to different generations, but different ethnic

groups as well. Freemasonry also allowed Mozart to portray his brilliance, and ensure his love

for music by incorporating different symbols within the content and tone of his music. A hidden

feature like using the key of E flat, simply because it has three flats to represent the three pillars

of the Temple of Humanity, to compose and manipulate the sound of a song is not something
that a lot of musicians do in contemporary music. An important aspect of Mozart's legacy is that

he lived a very short life, but accomplished so much in that very small amount of time. It is easy

to take note of how incredible his life has been when not only considering that he has composed

hundreds of pieces, but also that when comparing Mozart to another composer like Franz Joseph

Haydn, who was one of Mozart's inspirations and lived a much longer life regardless of being

older, Mozart accomplished much more as far as a ratio of time and work would show.