Saturday, February 6, 2010

The Magic Flute and Freemasonry

In a follow-up to my blogs about the Templars and their demise, I could not resist blogging about Mozart, a member of the Freemasons. That there is a tie between the Templars and Freemasonry is debatable, but there are so many elements of Masonry that were found in the Templars that one wonders, if there is no connection, how did that come to be?
Setting that controversy aside, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s tie to the Masons is evident. Mozart, a musician of the Classical period, belonged to a Masonic Lodge in Vienna, and visited several other lodges in his travels. He brought his father into the lodge, and many believe he was responsible for Haydn joining the Freemasons.
One of Mozart’s most popular operas, The Magic Flute, reflects the philosophy of Enlightenment (freedom of speech, the right of citizens to own private property, and tolerance for other religions). Masonic symbolism appears in The Magic Flute as well (i.e., the number three, three ‘knocks’, three temples). Mozart composed several pieces for Masonic events such as funerals and initiation rites. It may surprise modern readers that Mozart may have been an early proponent of admitting women into the Freemasons, as in The Magic Flute, the hero and heroine are initiated together. Opponents would say, however, that because he wrote the music and not the libretto, that proposal carries no weight. I prefer to think Mozart would have enjoyed eighteenth century women to be in his lodge, considering the elegance of the gowns which women of that era wore.
Mozart’s ties with Freemasonry make for interesting reading. Besides, he was in good company, with the likes of George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson.


Mary Ricksen said...

If he was enlightened, he would have had women there. Dare I say he was enlightened?

Joyce Moore said...

Well, we know they didn't allow them in the lodge, but it's amusing to contemplate. Women were with him when he died, and he was the darling at court. I wish I'd known him. Plus, he's one of my favorites. Thanks for stopping by Mary.