Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Creative Arts


School of Music

Committee Chair

Kathleen Shannon

Committee Co-Chair

Mary Ferer


While the four cantatas presented on Trinity Sunday during Bach's Leipzig years -- BWV 194, 176, 165, and 129 -- were all intended for the same liturgical day, a significant diversity exists among the four compositions. This diversity results from the variety of source material on which the cantatas were based, including material composed during the Leipzig years as well as material re-worked from previous Bach cantatas. The diversity also results from the different librettos and librettists that were utilized for the cantatas. Other factors include the variety of the cantatas' movement structures, performing forces, and the theological/philosophical themes that are central to each composition. This document is a study of the four cantatas, first examining the compositions in detail, then examining the compositions by their commonalities and their dissimilarities, with specific attention to the methods by which Bach presented the theological/philosophical messages in each cantata. An appendix of translations and scriptural allusions for each cantata movement is also included at the close of the document. The variety of perspectives employed in this document forms a unique examination of the four Trinity Sunday cantatas that has not previously been seen in Bach scholarship.