My friend has a story about one of his buddies who recently organized a “Bach in the Bar” event. Instead of the Aerosmith cover band there would be, well, the Bach cover band: Classical music filling the college bar. The goal wasn’t to have a concert but more so put classical music in a place it wasn’t usually, creating a stimulating juxtaposition; to have conversation and clanging cascade over the counterpoint.
The result? Most people in the bar took it like a concert. Absolute silence and respect for the performers and Bach. That wasn’t expected at all.
Why did this happen? Was it because classical music demands this austere reverence? Should Bach not play second fiddle to the yelling of drinking buddies?
Perhaps this moment says more about how we treat the music than the music itself. Maybe Bach wouldn’t mind his music not being the center of attention. Besides, he was competing with God all the time when he played the organ for masses.