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‘It Pleased God That I Should be Called’—Bach’s Office and Craft

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Chapter Summary

Bach's understanding of church music was strongly shaped by the account of the dedication of the Solomonic Temple in the Second Book of Chronicles. Bach's theological understanding of the dedication of God's dwelling place on earth by ministers and musicians would have been further developed by Lutheran commentators such as Abraham Calov and Johannes Olearius. Like Olearius' Temple musicians, in his choral music, Bach also provided a musical framework to reflect on the Biblical and preached texts. This strongly suggests that he not only shared Luther's view that 'God preached the Gospel also through music' and therefore was an ideal means of communicating the words of Scripture. Bach's reading of Calov's commentated Bible suggests that he shared the view that music was a means to reflect a greater order and a greater truth.

Keywords: Abraham Calov; Bach; church music; God; Johannes Olearius; Solomonic Temple



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