With all that’s happened in this class, I feel more comfortable in the research process now. My first paper was easier to research since the thesis and topic dived right into sources about a well researched area of Bach’s works. My second paper gave me more trouble, as its thesis was Bach related, but the topic at hand had almost no scholarship. This next paper should be easier to tackle in the research arena. Given that our topic category is provided, I decided to choose to look at the St. Matthew Passion. I’m not sure what my thesis will be though. After going through some preliminary research, I could take a thematic approach and look into the spirituality of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion. I could go the analytical route and see how Bach ties in spirituality into the form of the work. Personally, I’m just intrigued by the many settings of the chorales. Or perhaps I could look into the history in which the piece was performed, considering it’s likely the piece isn’t really a double chorus oratorio in the same way we think in modern times.
My concern lies in trying to find an arguable thesis that’s not obvious in all of this. (“Look, Bach did a cool thing” is not a thesis – David below me.)
Having performed the piece as a soprano in the children’s miniature chorus, I know that this piece is a rich work of art. I just need to do more research to find out what’s worth talking about. I hope to look more into the settings of the chorales within their own contexts as a starting point. If that turns out to be a dead end, I will focus on the relationship between the two choruses and see where that leads me.