Bach’s Mass in B minor (and why finding research is so hard)

I decided to take on the Kyrie from Bach’s mass in B minor. I haven’t actually heard the mass before, so I’m really excited to listen to it and find good information about it.

To my surprise though, it’s REALLY hard to find articles about the Mass (at least on Academic Search Premier and JSTOR)!! I found many little 2-3 pages articles (some written in 1888, a little too dated for my purposes…) and some promising articles (only to discover they’re in German. I guess I shouldn’t have taken French…). So as of right now, I have no idea what direction my paper will take.

But, the nice thing is that there do seem to be quite a few good books written about the mass (now whether they’re in our library is the question now…). So, I suspect there will be good information somewhere. But, I’m struggling at the moment to see how i’m going to write a paper that is all that different from the Bach paper I just wrote (basically making Bach a fully sacred composer). The mass is the epitome of sacred music, and Bach certainly composed it that way. So, I’m not sure at this point how I’m going to make a compelling and unique argument about this mass (given what seems to be a lack of good sources).

i know with the tools we’ve been given in this class and St. Olaf, I’ll come up with something good. It just seems quite daunting at the moment! But, all the best arguments were a little unconventional and off the beaten path, so I guess that’s my job to explore that brush as I continue researching.

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