As on many ceremonial and festive occasions, instrumental and vocal music is used to complement and enhance Lodge meetings. Athelstan Lodge has a long tradition of fine music. In the 20th century it benefitted from the services of the distinguished and experienced organists W Bro Cyril Collins, W Bro Roy Taylor, JP, and W Bro Humphrey Smith. Any Lodge organist endeavours to sustain their noble tradition. An honorary member of the Lodge, W Bro Geoff Phipps, is currently the Organist for Athelstan Lodge.
Music in the temple includes processional and recessional marches and the proceedings open and close with Odes sung to well known hymn tunes. Suitable background music is played as brethren assemble before Lodge begins and during periods when there are no spoken words. The music is drawn from many periods and styles, but the music of Mozart has special pride of place for Freemasons. He wrote several pieces specifically for use in Zur Wohltätigkeit Lodge in Vienna, which he joined in 1784, but also made subtle use of the rhythms of masonic ceremonies in his other music – especially in his opera The Magic Flute.
Vocal music also comes into play at the end of dinner as a salute to several toasts. The National Anthem is sung on all occasions. Brethren unavoidably absent from a Lodge meeting, the Worshipful Master and Lodge visitors are toasted in song. At the very end we conclude singing the words.
Happy have we met
Happy have we been
Happy may we part
Happy meet again