Course Description

This course will discuss the influence of the Reformation on the music of J.S. Bach as part of the process of preparing and performing works of Bach in a concert and worship setting. The course will explore the following questions: What are the direct connections between the music of Bach and Lutheran worship as it evolved from the time of the Reformation? How is the music of Bach, specifically the cantatas, relevant to modern worship? How is Bach’s music, today, fostering spiritual development? What barriers are there to the use of Bach’s music in worship (language, doctrine, notions of anti-Semitism, etc.)? What are the practical and pragmatic approaches to including the music of Bach in worship with lay singers and music? Students will actively participate in the construction and performance of a program of music including Reformation poetry and music of J.S. Bach performed in venues throughout Europe, specifically Leipzig. The program will serve as the answer to questions raised in the exploration of modern musical worship and doctrinal discussions.