Wisdom of Life

Johann Sebastian Bach: The Meaning of Life — Music & The Honor of God

“Soli Deo Gloria

“Where there is devotional music,
God is always at hand
with His gracious presence.

“Music is an agreeable harmony for the honor of God and the permissible delights of the soul. Harmony is next to Godliness. It is the special province of music to move the heart.

I play the notes as they are written, but it is God who makes the music. There’s nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.

What I have achieved by industry and practice, anyone else with tolerable natural gift and ability can also achieve. If I decide to be an idiot, then I’ll be an idiot on my own accord. I was obliged to be industrious. Whoever is equally industrious will succeed equally well. Ceaseless work, analysis, reflection, writing much, endless self-correction, that is my secret. On one of those rare occasions when Bach appraised his own life’s work, he remarked: I worked hard.

I have always kept one end in view, namely … to conduct a well-regulated church music to the honour of God. God’s gift to his sorrowing creatures is a joy worthy of their destiny.

I was a microscopic life-form, infinitely large, stumbled backstage of its playhouse, caught a nanosecond glance of its own reality and nearly vaporized in shock.

On land, on sea, at home abroad, I smoke my pipe and worship God. Ah! How sweet coffee tastes! Lovelier than a thousand kisses, sweeter far than muscatel wine!

Old concept: Love is blind. Marriage is an eye opener. New concept: Love is not blind — it simply enables one to see things others fail to see.

The aim and final reason of all music should be none else but the glory of God and refreshing the soul. Where this is not observed there will be no music, but only a devilish hubbub.”

Quotes of Johann Sebastian Bach.


~Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He is known for instrumental compositions such as the Brandenburg Concertos and the Goldberg Variations, and for vocal music such as the St Matthew Passion and the Mass in B minor.

Excellence Reporter 2020

Categories: Wisdom of Life

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