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The justification of art is the internal combustion it ignites in the hearts of men, and not its shallow, externalized, public manifestations.
He is a musical thinker who makes use of all available means to thought, including the piano.
According to Gould, artists have a moral mission and art has an unrealized potential for the betterment of humankind.
According to Gould, artists have a moral mission and art has an unrealized potential for the betterment of humankind. Human improvement can occur only as the result of modification in our attitudes as solitary, private individuals, and not as some kind of collective modification of our species, voluntary or not. Each person must accept the challenge of contemplatively creating his own "divinity." "Divinity" here refers to the better part of individual human nature, which for Gould is the introspectively and ecstatically contemplative part; the worse part is that which abandons itself to herd impulse, as in the mindless, hysterical responses of crowds to spectacles and of populations to propaganda.
But this music, The Art of the Fugue, is not organ music. It does not belong to the canon of Bach's works written for performance on the organ. This canon includes his chorale preludes, his many toccatas, fantasies, preludes, variations, and fugues designated by him as organ pieces - an enormous repetoire for the organ. But The Art of the Fugue belongs among what are called Bach's "didactic" works. In them, Bach, the great teatcher of all musicians, shows what can be achieved by a stupendous contrapuntal intelligence working with minimal constraint from the physical demands and limitations of musical instruments; with, perhaps, no concern that they should be playable at all.