- Cecil Hill
- , revised by Roger J.V. Cotte
Music used in connection with the ritual and social functions of freemasonry. A number of well-known composers ranging from William Boyce to late 20th-century figures have been freemasons, most notably Mozart, who made significant contributions to the repertory.
Freemasonry is an allegory of morality in which men are taught the virtues of an upright life through the symbolism of stonemasonry. It seems to have derived from the late medieval practice of admitting ‘speculative masons’ to the lodges of working masons, a practice that became widespread in the late 17th century and gained great popularity in the 18th that has continued ever since. Adherents of freemasonry are said to ‘work’ at the construction of a ‘temple of humanity’, an intellectual analogue to Solomon's temple supported by the three pillars of Nature, Reason and Wisdom. Although the ritual and the symbolic vocabulary of freemasonry derive ultimately from the myths surrounding the figure of Hiram, Solomon's chief mason (...