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Friday 18 October: 2:00pm - 3:30pm

Emmanuel College, Chapel, St Andrew’s Street, CB2 3AP

Music in Bach’s time had the power to bring about profound transformations in a listener’s physical and spiritual makeup. By regulating the flow of blood and spirits around the body, it could serve as a catalyst for turning ‘hard’ into ‘soft’ hearts, and hence moving from penitential despair to the joys of salvation. Some of the strong emotional potential of this music is still experienced by listeners now, but its direct physiological impact tends to be less keenly felt in our own post-Kantian times, in which this music became a disembodied object of aesthetic contemplation.

In this workshop, Dr. Bettina Varwig (University Lecturer, Faculty of Music) and Prof. Margaret Faultless (Director of Performance, Faculty of Music) will offer an introduction to early modern ideas about the body and its susceptibility to musical sound. This will be followed by a practical session, in which a group of Baroque music specialists will aim to embed this historical knowledge into their performances of selected excerpts from Bach’s works; and listeners will be invited to try and retune their own ears and bodies to some of the past transformative powers of those sounds.

Booking Information

Telephone number:
01223 766766

Booking required


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Additional Information

Workshop, Arrive on time, Free