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Music in Worship Day: Music and the Christian Faith – A Day with J.S. Bach
- Course Dates: Tue 4 June, 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Building upon his recent courses on J.S. Bach’s music for the Passion and Easter, Charles Stewart reflects on how Bach interprets the core beliefs of Christianity through music:
“I freely acknowledge my personal debt of gratitude to J. S. Bach, because time and again his music has enabled elements of Christian faith, doctrine and experience to be taken deeper into the heart of who I am. In other words, Bach’s music has helped me understand more fully what it can mean to be a Christian.”
Bach, a professional musician by training and vocation, reveals himself through his music to be also a profound theologian. The day will be structured around the Creed, which will become the loose framework for our survey of Bach’s music. Drawing on examples from Cantatas, Motets, the Passions, and Bach’s organ music, we shall see how Bach provides an interpretation in music of some of the central aspects of Christian belief, though never in a dogmatic way.
Just as Bach’s music has a near-universal appeal, so this study day is intended for a diverse potential audience; it will benefit people of Christian faith or none, help those who have sung some of Bach’s music to go deeper, and give musicians fresh insight into the composer for whom (in his own words) all music was a ‘harmonious euphony for the glory of God and the instruction of my neighbour’.