MUS 118(S) Bach

An introduction to the life and music of the German Baroque composer Johann Sebastian Bach. We will consider both matters of cultural context (such as the social milieu in which Bach developed his art and the use and perception of his music by his contemporaries), and matters of purely musical content (the styles and forms of his prodigious oeuvre). Both instrumental and vocal music will be surveyed, including the Brandenburg Concerti, the Goldberg Variations, the Magnificat, and the B Minor Mass. The course will conclude with an exploration of the attitudes towards Bach and treatments of his music in the more than 250 years since his death. Format: lecture/discussion. Evaluation will be based on a midterm, a final exam, and several short papers. No prerequisites. No enrollment limit.