Wednesday, 26 April 2000

Religious music

Listening to:

Bach, cantata Ich habe genug, BWV 82. There has been a bit of a discussion on the DSCH-L mailing list recently about how one should approach "meaningful" music. The example of Bach's music was cited. He wrote a great deal of religious music, including this cantata. The question is, is the non-Christian or atheist forced to listen to it as “pure” music, or can they appreciate it for its underlying meaning.

I’d equivocate a bit on this one. On the one hand, I can easily listen to and greatly enjoy Bach’s music, while still completely ignoring the religious content. I don’t know any German or Latin so this is easily done for the sung works. On the other hand, knowing a bit more about what is being sung tends to add to the experience.

Intemperate rants about how awful Salon is (by Paul Ford of ftrain) notwithstanding, I still find little bits and pieces there that I enjoy reading. Try this heart-warming tale about a Unix teacher from Australia.