We have brought into our churches certain operatic and theatrical music; such a confused, disorderly chattering of some words as I hardly think was ever in any of the Grecian or Roman theatres. The church rings with the noise of trumpets, pipes, and dulcimers; and human voices strive to bear their part with them. Men run to church as to a theatre, to have their ears tickled. And for this end organ makers are hired with great salaries, and a company of boys, who waste all their time learning these whining tones.
Like all music, the figured bass should have no other end and aim than the glory of God and the recreation of the soul; where this is not kept in mind there is no true music, but only an infernal clamour and ranting.
Johann Sebastian Bach, quoted in Ludwig Prautzsch Bibel und Symbol in den Werken Bachs p. 7 ; translation from Albert Schweitzer (trans. Ernest Newman) J. S. Bach (New York: Dover, 1966) vol. 1, p. 167.
Where there is devotional music, God with his grace is always present.
Johann Sebastian Bach, Original: "Bei einer andächtigen Musik ist allezeit Gott mit seiner Gnaden Gegenwart".