David Woolard

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Music: General


Johann Sebastian Bach's Mass in B Minor is not entirely an original work. Eleven of the twenty-five moments were either borrowed from Bach's earlier cantatas or were transcribed from the Mass into later choral works. In the process of borrowing, Bach often made significant changes in the original composition. In the preparation of this paper, each parody movement in the Mass was compared with the work from which it was drawn or, in four cases, the work drawn from it. Variants between the model and the parody were written down and classified. The resulting categories suggest insights into Bach's reasons for making changes. The following discussion summarizes the parody technique in the Mass in B Minor, also submits possible reasons why the writing of a parody would be more desirable than composing an original work.

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