Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.


  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Culture and Creative Arts
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1 (Alternate Years)
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

A course designed to introduce students to a wide range of repertories and traditions centering around the two Passion settings of J.S. Bach.


Runs alternate years, please check Handbook for details. Two lectures per week as scheduled in MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses



One class presentation (10 minutes) mid semester (30%)

Essay 1 (1500 words, 30%, due mid semester)

Essay 2 (2000 words, 40%, due end of semester)

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

To introduce students to a wide range of repertories and traditions centering around the two Passion settings of J.S. Bach. This will involve a study of the Passion tradition from the 16th-century up to Bach, a study of major baroque forms and genres that play a part in Bach's settings (e.g. opera, oratorio, cantata, concerto, motet, recitative). The close study of works of Bach will also introduce issues of theology and the various ways in which the Gospel narratives can be interpreted.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of the course, students should be able to:
1. Identify and differentiate some of the main genres and forms of the Baroque era.
2. Analyse and evaluate Bach's Passion settings and associated repertory.
3. Explain
 in critical depth the position of Bach's Passion settings within the context of the Lutheran tradition and its theological stances.
4. Analyse
in detail the relationship between music and text as might be defined by composers, performers and listeners.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.