Learning Exercise

Mass in B Minor: Module 2

Second reading (of six) on the Mass in B Minor.


"Bach to School" is open-content curriculum that threads its way through four summative works of J. S. Bach. Designed... see more


  1. Go to the following URL and scroll down to Module 2: http://bach.nau.edu/mass/bmSCHOOL.html.
  2. Read the essay: "The Mass in Context."


  • What is the mass "Ordinary" and its history of musical setting?
  • What is a missa brevis vs. missa tota and Bach's treatment of both?
  • The place of Bach's missa tota in the larger context of masses by other composers.
  • Bach's "summa mentality," awareness of his legacy, and response to criticism.
  • Bach's high purpose for music as "refreshment of spirit" and what that means.



  1. Answer the ten questions at:
  2. Enter your name and instructor's email at the top of the page and then click the "Send to Instructor" button.