Scottish Rite Journal

Scottish Rite Journal

Book Review: Masonic Notes

written by James T. Tresner II, 33°, Grand Cross, Book Review Editor


As the Fellow Craft Degree hath it: “Music is that elevated science which affects the passions by sound … it is a language of delightful sensations, far more eloquent than words; it breathes to the ear the clearest intonations; it touches and gently agitates the agreeable and sublime passions.…”

The column this issue is mostly about Masonic Music—not only music by Masonic composers (of which there are/were many) but music by composers that takes inspiration of some sort from the Fraternity. The topic is one of my great loves. There are several lists of Masonic composers on the Internet, and I put together a booklet, available from the Masonic Service Association, titled The Craft’s Noyse, which is an annotated listing of composers and lyricists who were Freemasons. It is not, I have discovered, a complete list, since Brethren have sent me notice of composers who were omitted. But it is fairly complete. If you want a copy, you can order it from The Masonic Service Association, #288, $4 + $3 s & h Masonic Service Association of North America 8120 Fenton Street, Suite 203, Silver Spring, MD 20910-4785.


Bro. Harm Timmerman, The Temple of Humanity: The Music of Freemasonry, CD, 2008, Pink Records, ASIN: B0018BF3D4, band: Freestone, available on the Internet for about $20.

For me, this album is a great treat in many ways. First of all, the packaging is beautiful, as is the booklet which comes with it. Second, I truly enjoyed the music, even though it is much more “pop” than my usual preferences. And third, it is a beautiful and literate tribute to the Fraternity. Bro. Timmerman, a Mason from Leeuwarden in the Netherlands, has done a remarkable job, especially with the lyrics which include quotations from or allusions to Milton’s Paradise Lost, Joseph Fort Newton’s The Builders, and Sorastro’s mighty Masonic Aria “Within These Holy Walls,” from The Magic Flute, among others.


To illustrate: here are the lyrics to “The Temple of Humanity.”

Blindfolded, neither

closed [sic] nor naked

All things I’ve set apart but with

a dagger on my heart

Hear the cosmic symphony of the

heart of all reality

Of good report to get into the Temple of


Life in circles. It’s difficult to break it

I’m still trying to loose the fear of dying

In my own willingness I had to drain the cup of bitterness

My inner guide helped me to find before I could decide

It will only be you and me

We can all be part of the Temple of Humanity

It will be denied by the prisoners outside

Here’s the symbol and you will see

We can all be stones and the feel inside will take you there

Look around for I know it can be found

Between compass and square

Blindfolded, it’s very hard to make it

what is the purpose below the surface

It can be hard to see that faith in which all agree

It can be found in the Temple of Humanity.

The CD is a remarkable experience. I’ve already ordered several copies for friends. It is an exciting, modern tribute to the great traditions of the Craft.