Central Authorities for Church Music

In addition to its role in services, music in the Catholic Church has for centuries been an artistic and organisational part of the life of monasteries and convents, cathedrals and parish churches and their congregations. Early examples of ‘organisation’ in Catholic Church music in recent times have been particularly evident since the 19th century (St. Cecilia associations). After the second Vatican Council in 1963, church music offices were established in the diocesan administrations and these work together with the St. Cecilia associations organised under the ACV. Their mandate includes support for the organisation of church choirs, passing on and explaining liturgical instructions relating to church music and responsibility for the advanced training of professional and particularly semi-professional church musicians right through to the establishment of church music schools in the diocese. They also work together with the church employers and authorities on the regulating of employment and salary procedures for church musicians. The responsible professional body is the Federal Association of Catholic Church Musicians in Germany. Questions relating to the training of church musicians are handled by the Conference of the Heads of Training Institutes for Catholic Church Music in Germany.

Protestant churches are grouped according to church regions whose boundaries reflect historical political structures. At the regional level there are administrations with areas of responsibility and departments including those for church music and these are responsible mainly for advanced training matters (i.e. literary studies, work reflection). Church music associations, including the Association of Protestant Choirs in Germany and the Protestant Federation of Church Brass Ensembles in Germany, divide responsibility for the various music areas. The Association of Protestant Church Musicians is the relevant professional association; the Conference of the Heads of Church and State Training Institutions for Church Music and the Regional Church Music Directors in the Protestant Church in Germany is the body responsible for training matters.

Church music associations can be found in the section Music Organizations under the heading Associations, Federations, Societies. Training and further training institutes for church musicians are listed in the section Music Education, Professional Training, Further Education under Church Music Schools and Colleges and Conservatories.