"Almost All" (90 - 95%) of J. S. Bach's compositions are, musically, based on various "Protestant Hymns". This is a musical and compositional fact, when one understands how to analyse his compositions from a musical standpoint. For this reason, some Jewish people consider his music to be Christian music. As I understand, it may not be even heard by some religious Jews.

On the other hand, there is not a trace of anti-semitism in any of his oratorios, songs, concertos, and orchester pieces. In Israel his music is often performed. Isaac Sterns, one of the greatest violinists ever to live, an Israeli played J.S. Bach's music on numerous occasions - Jacqueline Du Pre, as well. The compositions of J.S. Bach are often used as part of a musician's and singer's basic training for both technique and musicality (The Preludes, Cantatas, orchestral suites for some examples only).

So, can Jews listen to and perform this music or not?

(This is more of a Philosophical Question, than a religious one.)

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    @AmadeaLeonore-saxophone It is not a fact that Bach's music is all derived from religious sources. While many of his works certainly are, many of his works, like his keyboard preludes and fugues, for example, are not. Some have argued that they somehow still are, but that requires some relatively far-fetched musicology. – Mauro Braunstein Dec 12 '16 at 5:20
  • Thanks @Mauro Braunstein. No, in fact even the keyboard preludes are based on The Protestant Hymns for J. S. Bach - perhaps only parts of the melodies, for example, or variations of the melody. We, as modern listeners or performers, are not always aware of this, because JS Bach was subtle enough. But, if you really study thoroughly his compositions you would find a Part of a Protestant Hymn in each piece. His contemporaries were more knowledgeable about this than we are, at the moment. – Amadea Leonore-saxophone Dec 12 '16 at 8:27
  • If Bach's music is to be forbidden on this ground then you might as well forbid all of Mozart, Beethoven, et al., because they were so strongly influenced by Bach . . . (also the violinist's name is Stern, not Sterns. I doubt that Stern was very frum, but enough classical musicians are, and I've never heard of a Jewish classical musician who would not touch Bach for this reason.) – Noam D. Elkies Dec 13 '16 at 5:05
  • +1 don't forget his signing of his works with Soli Deo Gloria. – user6591 May 28 '17 at 19:39

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