[LAU] re Subconscious Affecting Music

david gnome at hawaii.rr.com
Sat Sep 4 06:52:22 UTC 2010

Rustom Mody wrote:
> There are two voices I hear here vis-a-vis Bach:
> 1. Art for art's sake -- the romantic idea

Bach lived well before the Romantic era. I don't think the ideas of the 
Romantic era even came into his head.

> 2. Art for money's sake -- the distinction of commercial vs commisioned 
> being a fine semantic distinction.
> Bach himself expressed a view however which does not fit in with either:
> /
> Anything done other than for the service of God is vanity/
> [I read this 30 years ago and google is not finding me a suitable quote 
> -- sorry if its off the mark]

It does sound like something Bach would say. He was even for his time a 
very devout Christian, there are stories about him that indicate he 
experienced a very personal one-on-one relationship with God. So he did 
his music composition for the service of God.

Still, he did what he had to do so make a living and support his large 
family, including working to obtain better-paying positions at other 

There's a verse from one of the letters of Paul: "The workman is worthy 
of his hire." Bach's expression fits in with that and (I think) art for 
money's sake (being paid for writing music). I don't think it fits in 
with the art for art's sake idea, or the ideas of the Romantic period.

gnome at hawaii.rr.com
authenticity, honesty, community

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