On 9 December, 1529 Zwingli’s brilliant commentary on Isaiah was sent to the printer. It’s a fantastic work but it has never been translated from Latin into any other language, not even German. But December 9 is notable for another reason as well, as Jackson explains-
The most radical change which Zwingli made in the Church service at Zurich was to do away with both instrumental and vocal music. This action was the more strange since Zwingli himself was a very accomplished musician, being able to play upon different instruments and also to sing well; yet in the course of the year 1525 he suspended the choir-singing and on December 9, 1527, had the organ of the Great Minster broken up and insisted that similar action should be taken by the other churches in the city and canton. His motive was twofold; first, because all this music was inseparably connected with the Roman Church worship and he desired to remove as far as possible the Reformed congregations from all association with the past; and second, because the words of the music were in Latin and therefore unintelligible to the people and he desired to have every part of the Reformed worship in the vernacular.*
Two observations here- first, commentaries were in Latin because they were intended for the Clergy who would then interpret Scripture to the congregation in the vernacular. They were ‘specialists’ literature. And second, the fact that music had become a distraction troubled Zwingli immensely. He wasn’t opposed to music per se but to music in worship as it too often simply allowed people to put on a show and promote themselves and their ‘skills’. It also took away from what mattered, really mattered, and that was the proclamation of the Word. Musical performances were no match for biblical exposition.
Interestingly, in many cases even now, musical performance in worship tends to the exaltation of the singer or the musician rather than to the glorification of God. So perhaps Zwingli was on to something.
*Huldreich Zwingli: The Reformer of German Switzerland (1484–1531), p. 290.