Interesting stuff for those of you involved in Church music wars-
The Anabaptist movement was born in Zurich Switzerland in 1525 during a time of iconoclastic fury (literally, demolishing icons). Conrad Grebel and Felix Mantz’s spiritual mentor, Swiss reformer Ulrich Zwingli led Zurich in its rejection of all things Catholic—ceremonies, rituals, liturgy, images, and instrumental music. Though he was a musician of extraordinary talent, Zwingli said the New Testament taught none of those popish mockeries; thus they were rejected and forbidden. Sharp said a prime example of what was rejected and forbidden was the organ.
The organ was characterized as the “Devil’s Bagpipe,” the “Pope’s Bagpipe,” the “Devil’s Trumpet,” and a “Seducer to the Worship of the Roman Anti-Christ.” Organs in the city’s five churches were silenced, then destroyed. The organ in Zwingli’s Grossmunster, the Cathedral Church, was relatively new. Sharp surmised that this organ was like the grand organ in Lucerne, another Swiss city that remained Catholic—therefore escaping Protestant axes and sledge hammers.
Historian Sharp said eyewitness Gerold Edlibach described the instrument—it was massive, gorgeous, superb, and very expensive with an imposing cluster of registers. Edlibach also described its destruction—it was “ripped down and smashed” while the cathedral’s organist, Pelagius Karlschmid, “stood by, helpless, and weeping.”
Sharp reported that in various cantons of Switzerland, pipes were melted and recast. In Schauffhausen, pipes became wine cans; in Winterthur, a new roof for the prison tower; and in Geneva dinnerware for the city hospital by order of reformer John Calvin.
This is a fun little link (thanks Louis).
Against Musical Instruments in Public Worship by R. L. Dabney
"The music of an organ may be appropriate to Popish worship, and may be in good taste in a Popish cathedral; and yet may be in wretchedly ill taste, when applied to Protestant worship."