Notes on Bach

Monthly conversations with scholars about the life, times, legacy, and music of J.S. Bach. Sponsored by Bach Society Houston.
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Now displaying: 2016
Dec 12, 2016

Guest: Dr. Markus Rathey, Assoc. Prof. of Music, Yale University


 This month's "Notes on Bach" episode features Dr. Rathey discussing Bach’s Advent music in its liturgical and historical context, focusing on Advent pieces mentioned in his latest book. Aimed at general audiences, Bach’s Major Vocal Works: Music, Drama, and Liturgy provides musical interpretation drawn from historical and liturgical contexts of some of Bach’s most well-known works. To order go to We also briefly mention his newer book on the Christmas Oratorio, available from Oxford University Press at

Special note to listeners: Markus and I agreed prior to recording that I would use the Anglicized/Americanized pronunciation of his surname, instead of the German pronunciation, to help listeners who might search online for more information on his books to be able to spell his name accurately. 

Nov 9, 2016

November: “Death and J.S. Bach”

As we pass Halloween and All Saints Day and move into the waning of the church year and the calendar year, we’ll hear from Dr. Stephen Crist, Associate Professor of Music at Emory University and Immediate Past President of the American Bach Society, about the many ways that experiences with death saturated the personal life and shaped the professional endeavors of J.S. Bach, perhaps even impacting how we interpret some of his music. View Dr. Crist's bio at

Oct 14, 2016

This October marks the 499th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, a historical event so broad and sweeping in its implications that when assessing it in hindsight, we often find it hard to discern historical fact from popular fiction. Listen as Dr. Joseph Herl, Professor of Music at Concordia University, discusses the sometimes-surprising history of Lutheran worship in the two centuries following the Reformation. In the pilot episode of Notes on Bach, he discusses popular misconceptions addressed in his book Worship Wars: Choir, Congregation, and Three Centuries of Conflict