Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Bach's Cycle, Mozart's ArrowAn Essay on the Origins of Musical Modernity$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Karol Berger

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780520250918

Published to California Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520250918.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 20 May 2022



Jean-Jacques contra Augustinum: A Little Treatise on Moral-Political Theology

(p.131) Interlude
Bach's Cycle, Mozart's Arrow

Karol Berger

University of California Press

This chapter tells the story of the transition from the premodern Christian moral-political outlook to the modern post-Christian worldview, providing a larger context for the musical developments, a context for understanding how people got, in a mere sixty years, from a work like the St. Matthew Passion to a work like Don Giovanni. It presents the perspective from which the music is seen here, recounting the emergence of human autonomy and a consequent transformation in the fundamental experience and understanding of how time is shaped. This is the story of how people exchanged time's cycle for time's arrow, and why. In their thinking about both the moral and the natural realms, the moderns shifted the balance of their esteem decisively from eternity, rest, and immutability toward time, motion, and change. Modernity, scientific as well as moral-political, is at bottom an attempt to emancipate linear time.

Keywords:   premodern Christian, post-Christian worldview, St. Matthew Passion, human autonomy, time's arrow, linear time

California Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.