Bach's Architecture of Gratitude

Bach's Architecture of Gratitude

James Crooks (CA)

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Every lover of music finds themselves, at privileged moments, in ecstasy – certain that what they are hearing has captured, somehow, an incontrovertible truth. In Bach’s Architecture of Gratitude James Crooks explores this profound aesthetic experience in a case study of J.S. Bach’s Mass in B Minor – widely considered among the greatest works of the western choral canon.

The book begins with an investigation of compositional principles – of what we might call the mass’s musical architecture. Crooks argues that in its cathedral-like structure, Bach gives us a detailed map of the spiritual journey it triggers. This journey culminates in our apprehension of the world as a gift. And that means, in turn, that the mode of knowing appropriate to its musical ecstasy is gratitude. In the gratitude of aesthetic experience, we learn something crucial about the genuine nature of our own identity, our relations with others, and the character of the things around us. Bach’s genius lies in his capacity to frame these lessons in the mass’s choruses, solos, and duets.

Spotlighting the wisdom embedded in gratitude, Bach’s Architecture of Gratitude celebrates music as a pathway to understanding our deepest selves and our intimacy with the world.

Product details

ISBN-13: 9780228020639

Number of pages: 210

Format: Paperback / softback Trade paperback (US)

Imprint: McGill-Queen's University Press

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