Alex Peek blog

List of posts    Blog archive    About


Sunday, October 14, 2018

Johann Sebastian Bach and God


Photo source: Wikimedia Commons, Elias Gottlob Hausmann


Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was a German composer best known for his contributions to Baroque music. Pianist Glenn Gould said,


"The prerequisite of contrapuntal art, more conspicuous in the work of Bach than in that of any other composer, is an ability to conceive a priori of melodic identities which when transposed, inverted, made retrograde, or transformed rhythmically will yet exhibit, in conjunction with the original subject matter, some entirely new but completely harmonious profile." (So You Want to Write A Fugue, 1963)


The rest of this post is some quotes from Bach.


Music and God


"Like all music, the figured bass should have no other end and aim than the glory of God and the recreation of the soul; where this is not kept in mind there is no true music, but only an infernal clamour and ranting." (Quoted in Bibel und Symbol in den Werken Bachs by Ludwig Prautzsch)


"I play the notes as they are written, but it is God who makes the music." (


"Music is an agreeable harmony for the honor of God and the permissible delights of the soul." (


"The final aim and reason of all music is nothing other than the glorification of God and the refreshment of the spirit." (




"Ceaseless work, analysis, reflection, writing much, endless self-correction, that is my secret." (