by Raul da Gama, Latin Jazz Network

In almost all musical systems sacred music is held separate from its secular variant. In the music of Johann Sebastian Bach, for instance, we have two distinct lists featuring both his sacred and secular cantatas – for example the sacred cantata Jesu, der du meine Seele (BWV 78) and the sacred one Geschwinde, geschwinde, ihr wirbelnden Winde (BMV201). The form is the same, but the courtship of each is dramatically different. It is almost a given that the two could never meet – least of all in the senses where hedonism was to be kept separate from spirituality. But in societies where ecstasy could be infused with a sense of purity there could be a meeting of the spirits in a kind of rarefied realm.

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