Sunday, March 15, 2009

Musical Counterpoint and the Cosmos

The constant motion of the heavens is thus analogous to the perpetual revolution of the parts in a well-constructed piece of double counterpoint, whose inversions mirror the perfection of heaven and provide earthly beings with a glimpse of God’s unending order, a prelude to the heavenly concert.

But the relationship between these phenomena was more than simply one of likeness: the mechanics of the heavens were not simply allegorized by double counterpoint, they were manifested in its workings.

—David Yearsley, Bach and the Meanings of Counterpoint

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