Faculty Sponsor

Katharina Uhde


Arts and Sciences



Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Symposium Date

Spring 5-1-2020


My research is about Johann Sebastian Bach’s piece O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig (BWV 618). I am investigating this piece from a historical, cultural, and analytical perspective. My data for the historical and cultural perspectives is derived from careful placement of my research within existing research including by authors Peter Williams, Ruth Melville, Russell Stinson, and Anne Leahy. More specifically, my research answers a question and fills a gap, namely, the idea that significant theological ideologies are present in compositional styles. My data for the analytical perspective is derived from musical analysis on melodic structure, harmonic structure, and Bach’s use of canon alle quinta. My findings show that Johann Sebastian Bach’s piece, O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig, helps us to better understand how Bach’s approach to musical rhetoric creates a musical affect suited to the Lenten season, the time in the church calendar in which this piece was intended for. The compositional style found in the accompaniment voices of O Lamm Gottes, unschuldig, exemplifies Lenten theological ideas. Because of this, my research helps gather a better understanding of Bach’s use of musical rhetoric in Lenten music.

Biographical Information about Author(s)

Valparaiso University has a unique connection to both Johann Sebastian Bach and to the Lutheran faith. As a music student and as a devout Christian and faithful member of the Chapel, I often try to see the intersection between music and the glorification of God. Johann Sebastian Bach once said, "The aim and final end of all music should be none other than the glory of God and the refreshment of the soul", and I think that this sentiment is found in Bach's music.