- CC 300 EX - J.S. Bach: Music, Faith, and Reason
- 3 Credits
MWF 12:55-1:45 pm - Professor Ferguson
Cross-listed with MUS 390 AX
Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) lived and worked entirely within the region that now comprises Germany. Nevertheless, his output demonstrates broad assimilation of vastly diverse international musical practices. In his later years he was criticized as a reactionary composer, yet his works manifest historic, recent, and completely contemporary styles, sometimes all integrated within a single composition. Considered the greatest musical voice of the Lutheran faith, Bach’s complex musical work resists simple accounting: Christoph Wolff has properly designated him “the learned
This seminar explores the music of J. S. Bach from a variety of perspectives including historical, musical-analytical,sociological, and theological. Reception history and modern day interpretations are considered. Special emphasis will be placed on three large concerted works: Passion According to Saint Matthew, Passion According to Saint John, and the Mass in B minor. In preparation for the Bach Institute’s campus performance of the complete Mass in B minor (scheduled for March 23, 2013), each class member will prepare a presentation on an aspect of this work. Noted Bach scholar Daniel R. Melamed of Indiana University will meet with our class as part of his residency during the week preceding the performance.
Required texts may include:
- Boyd, Malcolm. Bach. (Master Musicians Series). 3rd ed. Oxford University Press, 2006.
- Gaines, James R. Evening in the Palace of Reason: Bach Meets Frederick the Great in the Age of Enlightenment. Fourth Estate, 2005.
- The New Bach Reader; A Life of Johann Sebastian Bach in Letters and Documents. Edited by Hans T. David & Arthur Mendel; revised and expanded by Christoph Wolff. Norton, 1998.
- Stauffer, George B. Bach: the Mass in B minor, The Great Catholic Mass. Yale University Press, 2003.