Thursday, June 8, 2017

Disobedience and the trombone

     "A child who obediently follows the father’s will, which is directly opposite to the child’s wish; yes, the child is far from doubting his father’s love, but there is not much trumpet blowing and ingratiation about how affectionate the father is.—And, on the other hand, the child who knows full well that in reality he is the one who gets his way and that the father’s will is not effected, yes, then there is trumpet blowing and trombones and shouting and ingratiating talk about how affectionate a father he has."
     "So, too, with us hum. beings in relation to God."

     Søren Kierkegaard, Kierkegaard's journals and notebooks 9 (Princeton:  Princeton University Press, 2017), 97 (96-97, 101).  "In his journals (1849), Kierkegaard is scathing about organ music in church accompanied by trombones (Basuner).  Here, he is clearly referring to negatively to the practice of having hymns at the major festivals accompanied by a trombone or trumpet in the gallery as well as by an organ" (Julia Watkin, Historical dictionary of Kierkegaard's philosophy, Historical dictionaries of religions, philosophies, and movements 33 (Lanham, MD:  Scarecrow, 2001), sv Art, p. 17).  Søren Kierkegaards Skrifter returns 60 hits on Basun*, so this would be far from the only passage of interest.

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