MUS 520

Topics in Music from 1600 to 1800: J.S. Bach in the Twenty-first Century

John A. Butt and Wendy Heller

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How do we listen, analyze, and think about the music of J.S. Bach in the twenty-first century? Bach scholarship, foundational for the development of musicology as a discipline, has long been somewhat conservative, focusing primarily on sources, chronology, performance practice, and biography. This seminar focuses on recent efforts by scholars to ‘rethink’ and ‘rehear’ the music of Bach. The primary text is the forthcoming volume Rethinking Bach, edited by Bettina Varwig, which introduces new trends and allow us to dive deeply into his music. We also explore the many primary sources in the Princeton University Library.

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